By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma voters are encouraged to request their absentee ballot for the August 25 primary runoff election as soon as possible. The deadline to request an absentee ballot is 5 p.m., on Tuesday, Aug 18, but election officials urge people to request one now if they are concerned about in-person voting due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The easiest way to apply for an absentee ballot is on the Oklahoma State Election Board’s website, which you can find here.
Oklahoma requires that your absentee ballot be received by the county election board no later than 7 p.m. on election day (Aug. 25).
For the August runoff election, in most of Oklahoma County only Republicans will receive an absentee ballot, as there are no Democratic primaries.
Bethany has a $7.1 million “Safe School” bond proposal and Harrah has a city sales tax proposition, therefore all voters living in those two cities in Oklahoma County can receive absentee ballots.
All registered votes in Cleveland County (Norman) can vote on a wide range of important propositions. In Lincoln County voters face a local commissioner’s race.
Both Logan County and Pottawatomie County have also local balloting, with several in the latter.
Oklahoma voters will need to verify their absentee ballots for the Aug. 25 runoff election by either having them notarized, or by attaching a copy of their valid ID.
These are the accepted forms of identification:
- A photo ID issued by the United States, by the State of Oklahoma, or by a federally recognized tribe with an expiration date that is AFTER the election date; or
- A Voter ID card issued by your County Election Board when you registered to vote.
Several local financial institutions and other organizations offer one or more of the following free absentee voting services to all Oklahoma voters:
- Free ID copy (lobby and/or drive-thru)
- Free absentee ballot notarization (lobby and/or drive-thru)
Voters can find a list of participating locations at elections.ok.gov. Services and hours may vary.
Adrian Beverage, Chief of Staff and Executive Vice President for Government Relations for the Oklahoma Bankers said, “Community banks across Oklahoma are excited for the opportunity to make absentee voting easier for all Oklahomans.”
Voters can confirm their registration and their voting precinct, or apply for absentee ballots online using the OK Voter Portal at ok.gov/elections/OVP. Applications can also be downloaded from the State Election Board website at elections.ok.gov.
According to the Oklahoma State Election Board website, any registered voter in Oklahoma may vote by absentee ballot. It is not necessary to give a reason for voting absentee.
With no excuse absentee ballots, any registered voter who submits an absentee ballot application on time will receive one.
Voters can request absentee ballots for a single election or all elections in which they are eligible to vote for a full election year. Voters who request a full year of elections, must submit a new application each year.
Three states – Colorado, Oregon, Washington— have been mailing ballots to every registered voter for years safely.
Oklahoma has no state provision for ‘drop boxes’ but absentee ballots can be hand delivered, by the voter with ID to their County Election Board anytime, but no later than the Monday close of business before the election. Check each County Election board for hours.
For more information about absentee voting in Oklahoma, visit elections.ok.gov.
NOTE: Publisher Patrick B. McGuigan contributed to this report.