Oklahomans vote early in record numbers
What's bright yellow with a fluff of green hair on top?
An Oklahoma voter exercising her right to vote and observing Halloween at the same time.
Lawri Sanders of Oklahoma City, wore a pineapple Onesie costume as she stood in line on Saturday outside the Oklahoma County Election Board in Oklahoma City.
Sanders, 20, said it was her first time voting in a presidential election and the University of Oklahoma student was pumped about it.
"I always heard how important it was to vote. People have gone through so much to get us the vote — women, Black women," she said.
Shay Smith of Oklahoma City, Sanders' mother, said they decided to vote together since it was the weekend.
Sanders, a biochemistry major, didn't hesitate to break out the costume for what she expected would be a lengthy wait in line to vote.
"It's Halloween. I figured, why not?" she said.
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The state Election Board said 164,461 Oklahomans cast ballots in person during early voting over the past three days, topping the record 153,000 who cast in-person, early ballots in the 2016 general election. Nearly 16,000 people in Oklahoma County were among those early voters.
Other Oklahomans also said they expected to wait in long lines to cast their vote on Saturday, the final day of early voting.
Katie Booth-Wlodarczyk sat in a lawn chair reading a book, moving periodically as her husband moved forward in the line.
The Village resident said she tried to prepare for a lengthy wait.
"It's just too much to stand up. I bought books in preparation for this last night," she said.
Booth-Wlodarczyk said she and her husband arrived about 9:15 a.m., parked and walked about three blocks to the election board, 4201 N Lincoln Blvd. She said she worked from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and didn't want to risk not having enough time to vote on Tuesday, Election Day.
"It was important to me not to have to worry about it," she said.
Ryan Carter of Oklahoma City shared similar comments.
He said he had been waiting for about three hours.
"I knew there would be some lines but I didn't know it was going to be this long, to be honest," Carter said.
He said he had already listened to several audiobooks but he didn't mind because the wait to vote would be worth it.
"Absolutely. I even told my Mom it might not help on a national level, but on a local level, it counts so much here," Carter said.
Former state legislator Anastasia Pittman said she and her daughter and father represented three generations of voters.
Pittman, 50, walked in the faith-based Souls to the Polls march to the election board with her daughter State Rep. Ajay Pittman, 27, and her dad Cornelius A. Pittman, 76.
"He taught me to be socially responsible. His mother was a Tulsa Race Massacre survivor and he understands the significance of the struggle," she said of her father.
The Pittmans said they had already voted.
However, Anastasia Pittman said they participated in the Souls to the Polls voter turnout event to encourage others to vote despite the challenges of the coronavirus crisis and ongoing racial justice struggles she described as "a pandemic inside a pandemic."
Election Day is Tuesday, and polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.