Voting 101: How to vote in the upcoming election

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The first step in the voting process is registering to vote. In order to register, you must fill out an application. You can go to the OK Voter Portal at https://www.ok.gov/elections/OVP.html, pick one up at your local tag office, or your local election board.

You must provide the following information on the application: name and address, political affiliation, birth date, driver’s license number, or social security number. You must sign and date the oath on the form, swearing that you have met all the requirements to vote.

To vote in Oklahoma, you must: be at least 18 years old, be an Oklahoma resident, be a U.S. citizen, not be legally incapacitated, and you must have served the terms of the judgment after a felony conviction and a period of time equal to the sentence.

Mail your completed application to the address on the form. If you complete your application at the tag office, they will mail it to your local election board. You can also go directly to your local election board to fill out the application.

Once your application has been approved, you will receive a voter identification card in the mail listing your name, address, political affiliation, and your assigned polling place.

You must register no later than 25 days before an upcoming election. However, if you wait until the deadline, you will not be available to vote until the next election cycle.

If you are merely changing your address from one precinct or county to another, you may vote in person or by absentee ballot in your old precinct.

There are three ways to vote in Oklahoma: You may vote in person at your designated polling place on the day of the election. You may early-vote, the Thursday, Friday, and Saturday prior to the election at your local election board. Or you can vote by absentee ballot (mail-in ballot).

When an absentee ballot (mail-in ballot) is applied for there are three categories; a regular absentee ballot; a ballot for those who are elderly and are vulnerable to the virus, people who are physically incapacitated, or a caregiver for someone who is incapacitated; and a ballot for military personnel.

People who are elderly and at risk, people who are physically incapacitated, or their caregivers, need only have two other people witness and sign the ballot. It should be noted that anyone in Oklahoma can request an absentee ballot without giving a reason.

Absentee ballots are placed in a yellow sleeve, and the elderly/disabled ballots are placed in a pink sleeve. This helps the Election Board staff differentiate the types of ballots. Residents of long-term care facilities and veterans centers are allowed to absentee vote under existing Election Board procedures for those facilities. Those wishing to have a ballot notarized may do so at any bank. There is no charge to notarize a ballot.

Due to the pandemic, voters in the June 30th, 2020, election can provide a photocopy of voter ID card, driver’s license, or passport in lieu of notarization. Local banks are offering free photocopy service at their drive-ins for this election.

The deadline for requesting an absentee ballot is at 5 p.m. 7 days prior to the election. The ballot must reach the county election board by election day. Average postage is seventy cents, however, unless you have the envelope weighed at the post office, use two stamps. For more information, contact the Creek County Election Board at 918-224-3529.

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Charles Betzler

Charles Betzler

Long-time Sapulpa resident, Charles Betzler, followed his father, Charlie, into the radio and TV repair business. At age 9, he fixed his first broken radio and his first love is vintage audio equipment. In his 50 + years of technical work, graduation from OSUIT, and years of Continuing Education, Charles, in his capacity as Emergency Management Director of nearby city, designed the Emergency Operations Center, and the radio-activation system for the sirens. In his long career, he has repaired every type of consumer electronics from black-and-white TVs to the latest lap-top.

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