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Oklahoma Engaged

Voters wait in a long line at the Oklahoma County Election Board on Friday, October 30.
Seth Bodine / Oklahoma Engaged

The pandemic is getting worse in Oklahoma, and science says mask wearing is one of the best ways to slow the spread of COVID-19. But with spotty mandates, mitigating the virus comes down to whether Oklahomans are willing to wear a mask voluntarily.

Voters wait in a long line at the Oklahoma County Election Board on Friday, October 30.
Seth Bodine / Oklahoma Engaged

The pandemic is getting worse in Oklahoma, and science says mask wearing is one of the best ways to slow the spread of COVID-19. But with spotty mandates, mitigating the virus comes down to whether Oklahomans are willing to wear a mask voluntarily.

Allie Tabberer and her family
Provided

Many Americans across the nation were unexpectedly laid off because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Kateleigh Mills with Oklahoma Engaged reached out to Oklahomans who lost their jobs as the virus spread to learn how that impacted their decision to vote.

In this Monday, June 1, 2020 file photo, President Donald Trump holds a Bible during a visit outside St. John's Church across Lafayette Park from the White House in Washington.
Patrick Semansky / AP Photo

The white evangelical Protestant voting bloc has historically played an important role in elections in Oklahoma since according to the Pew Research Center, about half of the state’s adult population identifies as evangelical Protestant. This has generally benefited the Republican Party, but the evangelical block is not monolithic.

State Question 814: An Explainer

Oct 27, 2020
KGOU/Oklahoma Engaged

Each Monday in October from 1 p.m. 2 p.m. KGOU features Oklahoma Engaged LIVE: Voice of the Voter hosted by KGOU General Manager Dick Pryor and Managing Editor Logan Layden. The program focuses on what’s motivating voters to get to the polls this fall. The final episode from October 26th includes StateImpact Oklahoma reporter Robby Korth and KOSU reporter Kateleigh Mills. Robby and Kateleigh hosted an election event for students across the state a few days prior to the show, and they discuss the takeaways from engaging in the focus groups. 

Should Oklahoma Reroute Public Health Funding To Pay For Medicaid Expansion?

Oct 26, 2020

One of two state questions on the general election ballot, State Question 814 would reroute public health funding to Medicaid expansion. Lenzy Krehbiel-Burton with Oklahoma Engaged explains the proposal and where the money would come from.

This is the Manager’s Minute. 

Well, General Election Day is almost here, and we have an ambitious plan for election night coverage on November third. 

 

An elections clerk cuts from a strip of "I voted" stickers at a polling place in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, June 28, 2016.
Sue Ogrocki / AP

Each Monday in October from 1 p.m. 2 p.m. KGOU features Oklahoma Engaged LIVE: Voice of the Voter hosted by KGOU General Manager Dick Pryor and Managing Editor Logan Layden. The program focuses on what’s motivating voters to get to the polls this fall. Episode 3 from October 19th includes StateImpact Oklahoma reporter Catherine Sweeney expanding on the previous week’s discussion about State Question 814

Oklahoma Engaged: State Question 814 Has A History

Oct 20, 2020
This September 2015 file photo shows a sign barring smoking at the state Capitol in Oklahoma City. The signs were paid for by the Oklahoma Health Department, which works in conjunction with the Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust to reduce smoking.
Sue Ogrocki / AP

There is a lot of history behind State Question 814. If you’re not an Oklahoma government buff, you might not be familiar.

Edmond resident Jay Mandraccia casts her primary ballot during early voting Thursday at the Oklahoma County Board of Elections. Regular voting will be held Tuesday.
Trevor Brown / Oklahoma Watch

Each Monday in October from 1 p.m. 2 p.m. KGOU features Oklahoma Engaged LIVE: Voice of the Voter hosted by KGOU General Manager Dick Pryor and Managing Editor Logan Layden. The program focuses on what’s motivating voters to get to the polls this fall. Episode 2 from October 12th includes a discussion with StateImpact Oklahoma reporters Catherine Sweeney and Quinton Chandler on State Question 814 and State Question 805. 

 

SQ805 Attacks Lengthy Prison Sentences; Opponents Say There Would Be Unintended Consequences

Oct 15, 2020
Voters line up to cast ballots shortly after precincts opened in Oklahoma City on Election Day in 2012.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Oklahoma’s standards for punishing people convicted of crimes are shifting. In 2016, voters chose to reduce punishments for drug possession and some property crimes often associated with addiction.

Health experts have repeatedly recommended the use of face coverings, to go along with social distancing and other guidelines meant to stunt the spread of COVID-19. But those measures have become politicized. Kateleigh Mills with Oklahoma Engaged talked with two Oklahoma voters about how masking and voting in the age of the coronavirus have impacted them.

Two Oklahoma Voters Discuss How Protests, Police Budget Cuts Have Impacted Them

Oct 8, 2020
Protesters on NE 36th and Kelley in Oklahoma City, Okla. in June 2020.
Quinton Chandler / StateImpact Oklahoma

Outrage and unrest following the killings of unarmed Black men and women at the hands of law enforcement has pushed the conversation about police brutality to the forefront as the 2020 election looms. The killing of George Floyd, the 2017 acquittal of a Tulsa officer in the shooting of Terence Crutcher and the police budget reduction in Norman this year are all shaping the way Oklahomans vote. Kateleigh Mills talked with two voters about these issues for Oklahoma Engaged.

People hold signs during a peaceful rally Monday, June 1, 2020, in Norman, Okla., calling attention to the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police on May 25.
Sue Ogrocki / AP Photo

Fear and anxiety have historically played a large role in politics and voter behavior, especially in 2020 as Americans face uncertainty related to the COVID-19 pandemic, civil unrest and the economy. These two emotions have often lead people to engage in politics in ways that could be both beneficial and harmful for democracy. 

This is the Manager’s Minute. 

 

Oklahoma’s Medicaid Expansion Vote Wasn’t As Simple As Urban Versus Rural

Sep 23, 2020

Back in June, Oklahoma voted to expand Medicaid through State Question 802. That vote determined that Oklahoma would open its Medicaid program, SoonerCare, to more adults. About 200,000 Oklahomans are expected to qualify for enrollment under Medicaid expansion.

State of Oklahoma

Although the legality will likely be questioned, the state of Oklahoma has entered into compacts with two more Native American tribes. KGOU's Dick Pryor and eCapitol's Shawn Ashley discuss that story and the latest on the state's coronavirus response as schools prepare to open, in the latest Capitol Insider.

This is the Manager’s Minute.

Oklahomans again have the opportunity to exercise their right to vote on August 25th - the statewide Primary Runoff Election.

KGOU will have Oklahoma Engaged coverage on-air, on-line and through our social media channels the night of the election.

This week, we have special nightly programming dedicated to the Democratic National Convention.

Then, next week we’ll do the same for the Republican National Convention, with NPR coverage at 8:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

For Rural Hospitals, Medicaid Expansion Acts As Shot In The Arm

Jul 20, 2020

For the past five years, Roger Knak, the CEO of Fairview Regional Medical Center, has been trying to keep his critical access hospital in rural Oklahoma afloat. The years have been a mixed bag of positive and negative financial margins. The cost to operate the hospital has been more than the revenue from patients.

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