By: Brady Halbleib
In-person early voting is just days away and county officials are teaming up with ONEOK Field to provide a large and centrally located venue to cast your ballots. ONEOK Field also provides space to safely stay socially distanced during the coronavirus pandemic.
ONEOK staff are working with the elections office to prepare for Thursday.
The Tulsa County Election Board anticipates a massive early voting turnout. With millions across the nation already casting their ballots, our local board wants to help stay ahead of the rush while providing a safe place for people to vote.
“We feel like this is an extension of an outdoor facility that’s perfect for this type of use,” general manager for Tulsa Drillers, Mike Malega said.
With the presidential election just eight days away, millions are planning to vote early. The Tulsa County Election Board is expecting a similar trend here in Tulsa. “This facility accommodates large crowds that will allow us safe social distancing,” secretary for the Tulsa County Election Board, Gwen Freeman said.
It’s one of the major selling points for the election board choosing this location. Voters will enter the stadium through the west Arvest Bank entrance and make their way to center field where they will split into two lines filtering to either side of the stadium. There, voters will make their way to the first station to pick up their early voter registration form. Next, they will go to the concession stands where they will receive their ballots. Once they choose their candidates, they will exit north, just behind home plate.
Some local businesses are donating their parking lots to make more than 1,200 parking spaces available for voters.
The majority of parking will be located near the OSU Tulsa campus near Elgin park. Handicap parking will be available right next to the stadium. The city of Tulsa is waving parking fees in the area on voting days. Tulsa transit is helping too.
“During the time of the early election day we will be offering free rides on all of our buses throughout the entire day,” general manager for Tulsa Transit, Ted Rieck said.
Those rides are on its fixed-route buses on early voting days, thanks to the League of Women Voters subsiding those rides.