The Oklahoma Eagle Newswire

By:   Posted inAdvocacy BasicsInfo to ActionTogether OK Updates

 

How To Register To Vote In Oklahoma

  • Before registering to vote, make sure you are eligible. Voters must be U.S. citizens, live in Oklahoma, and be at least 18 years old.
    • If you have been ruled incapacitated by a court, you will not be able to vote.
    • If you have been convicted of a felony, you must wait to register until you have served all of your court-mandated calendar days. This includes probation time, and also applies to individuals who are commuted. If you have been pardoned, you may register to vote.
  • To register in Oklahoma, visit the Oklahoma State Election Board and download the Voter Registration Application. You can also get an application from your county election board, public assistance offices, or any tag agency. Once you fill out the application, you can return it to one of the previous locations or mail it directly to your county election board.
  • When your application is approved, you will receive your voter identification card in the mail within 30 days. Keep this card, as it can serve as a form of identification for voting in the future.
  • You must submit your registration at least 24 days before the next election. Otherwise, your application will not be processed until after the election concludes.
    • In order to vote for the June 30 election, you must submit your application by June 5, 2020.
    • If your application was received after June 5th, you will be unable to vote on June 30 but you will be eligible to vote in future elections.

In-Person Voting In Oklahoma

  • When do I vote?
    • All voters can vote at their designated precinct on June 30, 2020 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Where do I go to vote?
    • Log in to the OK Voter Portal, enter your name and birthday, and you can scroll down to find your polling location.
      • You should be sure to check closer to election day (June 30, 2020) in case polling places are consolidated due to pandemic-related issues.
      • The law requires that voters be notified by mail if their polling place changes. However, if the change happens only a few days before the election, voters might not receive this notification.
  • Do I get time off of work to vote?
    • All employees are entitled to two hours for in-person voting on election day. If you work far from your polling place and require more time, you must notify your employer at least three days in advance. Employers are not allowed to dock your pay or penalize you for taking time off to vote.
    • In 2020, qualified full- and part-time state employees are allowed three days of paid leave to serve as poll workers or in other election-related roles.
  • Do I need a form of ID to vote?
    • Yes you do, and there are multiple options for that you can bring as identification:
      • Government-issued photo ID (federal, state, or tribe). This ID must have your name (and it must match your voter registration), a photo, and an expiration date that is after the date of the election. This could be your driver’s license, state ID, passport, tribal ID card, medical marijuana card, etc.
      • Voter ID card, issued to you by the election board after your voter application was approved. If you’ve lost your Voter ID card, you can request another from your county election board.
    • If you don’t bring a form of ID, you can still vote by casting a provisional ballot. These ballots will be sealed and later approved, as long as your information on the ballot matches your information in the voter registration database. You will have to provide your name, address, date of birth, and an identifying number (your driver’s license number or the last four digits of your social security number).
  • I’ve moved since I registered to vote. How can I update my voter registration address before voting?
  • My name has changed since I registered to vote. How can I update that before voting?
  • Can I see my ballot before I go to vote?
    • Yes! Log in to the OK Voter Portal with your name and date of birth,  and you can scroll down to find a sample ballot.

Absentee Voting In Oklahoma

  • How do I request an absentee ballot?
    • You can do this online by using the OK Voter Portal.
    • You can also use the paper absentee ballot application. Fill out the form and return the completed document to your county election board office by mail, email, fax, or in person.
    • It’s important to remember that all voters can apply for absentee ballots in Oklahoma. You do not have to give a reason for applying to vote by mail.
      • However, some individuals will qualify for special conditions for absentee voting. See sections below for information for individuals with disabilities and military service members.
    • With either method, you can request an absentee ballot for a particular election or for the entire calendar year. For step-by-step details on how to apply for an absentee ballot online, visit the information page provided by Let’s Fix This.
  • When is the deadline to request my absentee ballot?
    • The deadline to apply for an absentee ballot is always 5 p.m. on the Tuesday preceding the election. For the June 30 election, this deadline will be Tuesday, June 23 at 5 p.m.
    • The application must be in the county election board office by the deadline.
  • When will I receive my ballot in the mail?
    • You should receive your ballot with plenty of time to cast your vote and return your ballot. However, if you haven’t received it a few days from the election, you can contact your county election board to ensure your address was correct.
    • You can also check the status of your ballot by using the OK Voter Portal.
  • When is the deadline to return my absentee ballot?
  • Where can I return my ballot?
  • How will my absentee ballot be validated?
    • In normal times, absentee ballots must be notarized.
    • For the June 30 election (and other times of emergency), you can still choose to get your ballot notarized, or you can choose to include a copy of a form of identification with your absentee ballot.
  • What kinds of identification can I send in with my absentee ballot?
    • You should include a copy of a government-issued ID with a photo, such as your driver’s license, state ID, passport, tribal ID card, medical marijuana card, etc. You can also include a copy of your Voter Identification card. If you’ve lost your Voter ID card, you can request another from your county election board.
  • Where can I find a notary?
    • You can find a list of notaries here, and you can narrow down your search by county or city.
    • Most banks and post offices have notaries on site. Statute requires that notaries must notarize ballots for free, but it would be a good idea to call ahead before making the trip, to ensure that there is a notary there and that the service will be provided free of charge.
    • Together Oklahoma is working with its chapters to help connect voters to notaries. Email info@togetherok.org to see about connecting with a notary in your area.

Voting Early, Or In-Person Absentee Voting In Oklahoma

  • When can I vote early?
    • For all elections, you can vote early on the Thursday and Friday preceding the election from 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
    • For state and federal elections, you can also vote early on the Saturday preceding the election from 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
      • Note: The June 30 election is a statewide election.
  • Where can I vote early?
  • Do I need a form of ID to vote early?
    • Yes you do, and there are multiple options that you can bring as identification, just as there are when voting in person on election day:
      • Government-issued photo ID (federal, state, or tribe). This ID must have your name (and it must match your voter registration), a photo, and an expiration date that is after the date of the election.
      • Voter ID card, issued to you by the election board after your voter application was approved. If you’ve lost your Voter ID card, you can  request another from your county election board.
    • If you don’t bring a form of ID, you can cast a provisional ballot. These ballots will be sealed and later approved, as long as your information on the ballot matches your information in the voter registration database. You will have to provide your name, address, date of birth, and an identifying number (your driver’s license number or the last four digits of your social security number).

Reminders For Notaries In Oklahoma

  • Is there a limit on how many ballots I can notarize?
    • Yes there is. Notaries can only notarize up to 20 absentee ballots per election. However, there are some exceptions.
      • You can contact your county election board to get written approval to be able to notarize more than 20 ballots.
      • You can notarize more than 20 ballots while at your place of business, as long as it is open to the general public.
  • Are there any other rules I need to adhere to?
    • Remember that you cannot do the following things:
      • Request an absentee ballot on behalf of someone else;
      • Help a voter request an absentee ballot (other than for yourself or a member of your household);
      • Receive an absentee ballot for another voter;
      • Submit an absentee ballot for another voter (other than for a member of your household);-
    • You also must keep a log of all the absentee ballot affidavits that you notarize for at least two years after the election.

Voting For Justice-Involved Individuals In Oklahoma

  • When can I register to vote?
    • You can register to vote once the entire length of your original sentence has ended. All calendar days, including probation, must be completed. Even if you were released after only serving part of your sentence, you must wait until the entire length of the sentence has passed.
  • What if my sentence was commuted?
    • Unfortunately you won’t be able to register to vote until the original length of the sentence has ended, even if you were commuted.
  • When I am eligible, am I automatically reregistered to vote?
  • What if I have a federal conviction?
    • The rules are the same as the rules for those with state convictions. You must wait until the length of your original sentence has ended, and then you can re-register to vote with the Voter Registration Application.

Voting For Individuals With Disabilities In Oklahoma

  • Are there any accommodations in place for in-person voting on election day?
    • There are multiple options for assistance when voting in person:
      • Voters will have the option to listen to their ballot with a provided Hart InterCivic eScan A/T device if necessary. This device will also record votes, and it won’t trace the votes back to the voter.
      • Voters have the option of plugging their own devices into the audio tactile interface (ATI) controller, too.
      • Precinct workers can assist voters with physical disabilities who can’t mark their ballot, visual impairment, physical disabilities that don’t allow them to enter the facility, and voters who need assistance reading the ballot.
      • Voters can bring an assistant, like a friend, family member, or aide, to their polling site to help them vote. The assistant cannot be the voter’s employer or union agent.
  • Are there any accommodations in place for early voting?
    • These accommodations are the same as those in place for voting on election day.
  • Are there any accommodations in place for absentee voting?
    • Absentee voting is a great option for voters with disabilities. While anyone can vote by absentee ballot, voters with disabilities that wish to vote absentee have some special conditions that make it easier to vote.
    • These special conditions are addressed in the following five questions.
  • How can I vote if I’m in a nursing home or veterans’ center?
    • You can apply for your absentee ballot by using the absentee ballot application, and then submit it to your county election board through mail or fax
    • If you live in the same county in which you are registered to vote, you can designate that you’d like your ballot brought to you at the address of the facility in which you are located. A member of the voting board will bring your application to your facility a few days before the election, and you can fill out your ballot with the member as your witness. The member will then seal your ballot and it will be counted as an absentee ballot.
      • If COVID-19 restrictions prevent election board members from entering your facility, your county election board can appoint a facility staff member to deliver your ballot to you and return your ballot to the election board.
    • If you live outside the county in which you are registered, your absentee ballot and the materials will be delivered to you by mail.
  • How can I vote if I am physically incapacitated?
    • You can request an absentee ballot by using the absentee ballot application, and then submitting it to your county election board by mail or fax. You can also designate an agent to deliver your application, but your agent must not be someone who works for you or is related to you. Your agent must be over 16 years old. These individuals can only be an agent for one voter per election.
    • You are also exempt from the notary requirement, but you must have two witnesses sign your ballot. Alternatively, for the June 30 election, you can send in a copy of a form of identification instead of relying on witnesses. See the section on Absentee Voting for information on acceptable forms of ID.
    • If you are physically incapacitated due to COVID-19, you can see if you qualify for these special conditions here.
  • How can I vote if I’m the caretaker for someone who is physically incapacitated and cannot be left alone?
    • You have the same options as an individual who is physically incapacitated. See the section above for information.
  • What if I become incapacitated after the deadline to apply for an absentee ballot?
    • If you become incapacitated after 5 p.m. on the Tuesday before the election, you can submit a written request for an absentee ballot to your county election board. This must be accompanied by a doctor’s statement, verifying that you will be unable to vote in the upcoming election. Both the request and the doctor’s note should be taken to the county election board by your agent.
    • Your agent will bring your application to you, and then must return your ballot to the county election board by 7:00 p.m on the election day.
  • What if I have been ruled incapacitated by the court? This might mean you’ve been had a competency hearing and then been declared mentally incompetent and have been appointed a legal guardian by the court.

Voting With English As A Second Language In Oklahoma / Votar Con Inglés Como Segundo Idioma En Oklahoma

  • Are there any accommodations for individuals who are more comfortable voting in another language?
    • In certain locations, the federal government requires that ballots and other election material be provided in multiple languages. Unfortunately, the only county in Oklahoma that is subject to this requirement is Texas County. This list should be updated and possibly expanded in 2021.
    • In Texas County, all ballots and election materials are provided in both Spanish and English.
  • ¿Hay algunas recomendaciones para personas quienes no hablan inglés?
    • En ciertas ubicaciones, el gobierno requiere que las votaciones y otras materiales por las elecciones sean proporcionadas en otros idiomas. Desafortunadamente, el único condado en Oklahoma que tiene las votaciones en otros idiomas es Texas County. Esta lista será actualizado en 2021.
    • En Texas County, todas las votaciones y materiales de las elecciones son proporcionadas en los dos idiomas: inglés y español.

Voting For Military Members And Overseas Voters In Oklahoma Elections

  • I’m in the military and living overseas – how can I vote?
    • If you are a military member spouse, you can apply for an absentee ballot by using the Federal Voting Assistance Program. This will allow you to receive your ballot online, and then you can either fill it out online or print it off and fill in the ballot. Either way, you must mail or fax the printed ballot to your county election board.
    • The State Election Board recommends that service members work with the Voting Assistance Officer in their unit.
  • I am registered to vote in Oklahoma but am living overseas – how can I vote?
    • You can follow the same guidelines outlined above for military members.

Looking Ahead

  • If you don’t register to vote by June 5, unfortunately you won’t be able to vote on June 30. However, register now to ensure you can vote in the upcoming elections on August 25 and November 3. You can find instructions to register in the How to Register section above.
  • Online voter registration will hopefully be available in the near future.
  • If you decide to change your party affiliation, you can do that through the OK Voter Portal. You can change your affiliation at any time, except for between April 1 and August 31 of even-numbered years.

Additional Resources For Oklahoman Voters

  • For other questions, you can contact the Oklahoma State Election Board.
  • Find the address and phone number for your local county election board here.

About The Author

This voting resource was created by OK Policy’s Public Policy Intern Emma Morris. She graduated from the University of Oklahoma in fall 2019 with dual degrees in Women’s and Gender Studies, and Public and Nonprofit Administration. She is an alumnus of OK Policy’s Oklahoma Summer Policy Institute.