The race to determine a new state representative from Tulsa is a reminder that yes, every vote really does matter. That’s easy to lose sight of when a race is decided by a wide margin. But the difference in the District 71 seat couldn’t be closer. After losing on April 3 by three votes, Republican Katie Henke asked for a recount. It showed her defeating Democrat Dan Arthrell by one vote. But two other ballots were eventually found in the tubs that collect ballots under the machines. If those were counted, Arthrell would be the winner again. The case is now in Tulsa County district court. However this shakes out, the winner will have to immediately run for re-election because the job only lasts through the end of this legislative session.
House District 71 candidates Dan Arthrell (left) and Katie Henke (right), The Oklahoman Archives