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Osage County sees high voter turnout

Kim Archer
Pawhuska Journal-Capital
A voter feeds his ballot in the voting machine while voting at Precinct 61 in Edmond on Tuesday, August 25, 2020.

Like much of the country, Osage County residents cast more votes in the 2020 presidential race than in 2016 -- by 1,572 additional votes to be exact, according to state election board data.

"We had an exceptionally high turnout for the (election) day," said Kelly Chouteau, Osage County board of elections secretary. "We had in-person locations that normally get 60 people in to vote get 140-150 people."

Of the 20,538 people who voted in the county for president, 69% of the votes were cast for Donald J. Trump. Joe Biden garnered 29% or 6,002, of those votes.

Joe Biden was declared the apparent winner of the 2020 presidential race on Nov. 7.

On an interesting note, Grammy Award-winning rapper Kanye West received 84 votes in Osage County, well above the remaining independents, Jade Simmons at 51 and Brock Pierce at 23.

Osage County includes Pawhuska, Barnsdall, Hominy, Shidler as well as parts of Bartlesville, Ponca City, Sand Springs, Skiatook and Tulsa.

In the U.S. Senate race, Republican incumbent Jim Inhofe took 65% of the Osage County vote with Democratic candidate Abby Broyles picking up 31% of the tally. Inhofe won the race statewide and said this -- his fifth term -- will be the last.

Osage County voters also overwhelmingly voted for Republican candidate Steve Talbur as county commissioner for District 2. Talburt, who has worked as an investigator for the Osage County Sheriff's Office, garnered 66% of the vote versus former Tulsa city councilor Joe Williams.

Frank Lucas, the Republican incumbent for U.S. House District 3, won 71% of the Osage County vote against Zoe Midyett, who gained just 29% of the vote. Lucas also won the districtwide general election.

Oklahoma Supreme Court Justice M. John Kane IV, of Pawhuska, who was nominated to the Oklahoma Supreme Court by Gov. Kevin Stitt, retained his position and received 72% of the "yes" votes in Osage County.

Osage County voters expressly voted against State Questions 805 and 814, with 67% and 59% of voters in opposition those measures, respectively.

This vote mirrored the statewide count, with around 60 percent of voters voting against the SQ 805 criminal justice reform proposal aimed at reducing Oklahoma’s incarceration rates, as well as SQ 814 that recommending using some of Oklahoma's tobacco settlement funds for Medicaid.