Tens of thousands cast ballots on first day of early voting

With a closely watched gubernatorial race at the top of the ballot, tens of thousands of early voters cast ballots Thursday, putting Oklahoma on pace for a dramatic increase in its turnout numbers from four years ago.

Statewide, 37,849 people had cast early in-person votes as of 5 p.m. Thursday, the first of three early voting days, compared to about 43,600 people who voted early in all of 2014, according to the Oklahoma State Election Board.

Those who did so told tales of exasperation and excitement for modern politics. They were, by and large, worried about their state and country and hoping to elect people who would safeguard them from perceived threats such as socialism, white supremacy or political discord.

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