“Oklahoma is dead last in voting participation in the nation,” Alicia Andrews, the Oklahoma Democratic chair, told Rotarians at their noon meeting on Monday.
The last census shows the Oklahoma population at 3.9 million people with 2,272,252 registered to vote. In the midterm elections in 2022, only 50.3% of these registered voters turned in a ballot.
Andrews said a quarter “of the people in Oklahoma are making the rules for this state.” Each of us are voting for four people, she said.
Andrews said more people will have a desire to vote when they are driven by issues that concern them.
“The national political stage is more theater than politics,” Andrews told Rotarians.
She said the national rhetoric is not what is going on in Oklahoma. Being “woke” is not a problem in our state. Andrews said we need to focus on Oklahoma issues.
Andrew did have good news for Oklahomans when it comes to ballot security.
“We have the best voting system in the country,” Andrews said.
There are three areas she believes Oklahomans must focus on as a state in voting: everyone should have access to a ballot box; they must be confident that their vote will be counted; and voters need to be educated about who is running and the issues that are important in the election.
Andrews said she believes misinformation is a problem nationwide and voters need to look to sources that are objective and reporting the facts. She believes local newspapers reporting is a good place to start.
“People are being turned off by politics, and we need to stay engaged in issues that are important in our lives,” Andrews said.
Andrews is serving her second term as Chair of the Oklahoma Democratic Party and also is a Democratic National Committee member.
Most recently, she served one term as the secretary of the Tulsa County Democratic Party. As a staffer on the 2018 coordinated campaign, she was privy to the party structure on a statewide level and was compelled to run.
Andrews said she has long been an advocate for causes she believes in. She volunteered for Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Green Country and canvassed for several campaigns.
She is currently a Realtor with a corporate background in strategic planning. Andrews was raised in the Oklahoma City metro area, graduated from high school in Tulsa and ultimately graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a BA in Psychology.
In addition to her corporate work, she ran a consulting firm specializing in writing business plans for bank financing for startups throughout Oklahoma.
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