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Oklahoma Democrats are hoping a wave of frustration around the state of education and the stripping away of abortion rights will buoy their candidates in November. To do it, they’re going to need to dramatically increase voter registration in the five weeks left before the deadline.

According to data from the Oklahoma State Election Board, in the two months since the Dobbs decision reversed national abortion rights, the state has seen 20,501 new voters register. Of those, 10,097 are Republicans while just 2,063 are Democrats; a nearly five-to-one margin. The state has seen 7,819 new voters register as Independents along with another 526 who registered as Libertarians.

While registrations over the summer were slightly up from the two months before the Dobbs decision, Oklahoma lags behind trends seen in other states across the country.

To the south, in Texas, Democrats are seeing an explosion of new, young voters. And just north, Kansas has seen new registration from female voters outpace male voters by 40%.

Oklahoma new voter registration patterns going against national trends

Since January, nearly 53,000 Oklahomans have registered to vote, but unlike Texas, the numbers have not favored Democrats.

From the end of January through the end of August, Democrats saw a net increase of just 650 voters. The low number likely indicates that some Democrats changed parties before the deadline in April.

Republicans, meanwhile, have seen their registered voter base increase by 27, 538 since January 31st. During the same time frame, Libertarians have seen their base increase by 1,405.

The number of Oklahoma voters choosing not to identify with any political party has increased by 23,309.

As Democrats look toward November with the hopes of picking up seats in the legislature and even notching some statewide wins, it’s clear they will need a broad base of support across the political spectrum to do so.

Even in a climate that threatens public education, free speech and basic rights, political change in this deep-red state won’t come easy.

The deadline to register to vote in the November 8th general election is October 14th.

Visit to start the process of registering to vote.

Nate Morris moved to the Tulsa area in 2012 and has committed himself to helping build a more equitable and just future for everyone who calls the city home. As a teacher, advocate, community organizer...