Oklahoma City voters have yet another election cycle as four of the eight Council seats are open for a February 9 nonpartisan election.
The filing period for candidates begins Monday and runs through Wednesday.
Council seats are open in staggered years to insure that some experienced councilors remain on the Council after elections.
The Council is made up of councilors representing eight wards covering a total of over 600 square miles plus the mayor who is elected at large.
In this cycle, seats for Wards 1, 3, 4, and 7 are open.
Voters will vote on candidates running for their particular ward seat.
Free Press will cover the election from the filing period through the elections starting with the primary election February 9.
Unique and different geographies
In this cycle, voters in the suburbs and exurbs – some even in other counties besides Oklahoma County – will figure heavily in the makeup of the next City Council.
To find out which ward you are in and where the ward lines are see this complete, interactive WARD MAP for the City of Oklahoma City.
Ward 1 includes the west and parts of the northwest side of the city as it surrounds Warr Acres and Bethany. That part of the city limits goes all the way into Canadian County south of Piedmont and north of Yukon.
Ward 7 covers a large swath of the east side from the Oklahoma River north and east to areas far northeast surrounding Spencer and historic Arcadia then touching parts of Luther.
The south wards open in this cycle are even more massive in land area.
Ward 3 covers the west and southwest part of the city running from Bethany to the airport and well over into Canadian County surrounding Mustang and including areas directly south of Yukon.
Ward 4 runs from Capitol Hill just ten blocks south of downtown to far out into the country in the southeast portion of the city. That ward covers Lake Stanley Draper and comes near to McCloud as well as touching the Moore city limits.
All of these wards mostly in the suburbs and exurbs cover areas larger than most state Senate districts.
Old ordinances still apply
Even though in November voters in Oklahoma City approved City Charter changes that changed some of the rules and terminology for city elections, those rules did not come into effect until after the City Council set this next election.
So, the current ordinances will still apply in this election which terms the first election as the “primary,” meaning first. Candidates for City Council do not run as belonging to political parties.
If, in any of the races, no candidate gains the majority of votes, then the top two candidates will be in a runoff election April 6.
The following information comes directly from the City of Oklahoma City:
A candidate for Oklahoma City Council must be:
- a U.S. citizen
- at least 21 years old
- a resident of, and registered voter in, the Ward in which they are running for at least 6 months before filing as a candidate.
Candidates must submit a written declaration of candidacy, along with how the candidate wants their name to appear on the ballot.
Candidates must include a cashier’s or certified check for $200, or a petition supporting the filing signed by at least 500 registered voters eligible to vote for the candidate. The check will be returned if the candidate is unopposed, receives more than 15% of the votes cast in the primary election, or advances to the general election.
About the election
After candidate filing, how the election proceeds in each Ward depends on the number of candidates:
- If only one qualified candidate files to run, that candidate is automatically elected to office.
- If two qualified candidates file to run, the winner of the Feb. 9 primary election is elected to office.
- If three or more qualified candidates file to run, the Feb. 9 primary election determines whether a runoff on April 6 is necessary.
- If a candidate earns more than half the votes on Feb. 9, they are elected to office.
- If no candidate earns more than half the votes on Feb. 9, the two candidates with the most votes advance to a runoff on April 6. The runoff winner is elected to office.
Winners take office April 13.
To register to vote, use the portal’s voter registration wizard to complete your application online, then print, sign and mail it to your local county election board. You can also download a voter registration application at ok.gov/elections, or get one at your county election board, post offices, tag agencies, libraries and other public locations.
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