Early application for Oklahoma mail ballots urged
Muskogee Phoenix, Okla.
MUSKOGEE, Okla. — Voters who plan to cast absentee ballots are being encouraged to apply now for mail-in ballots even though the deadline for doing so is not until 5 p.m. Oct. 31.
Ellen Thames, assistant secretary for the Muskogee County Election Board, said casting an absentee ballot by mail requires at least two postal transactions. Absentee ballots cast by mail must be in the hands of the county election board by 7 p.m. Nov. 6 in order to be included in the count.
Any registered voter may cast an absentee ballot in an election for which he or she is eligible to vote without giving a reason or an excuse for doing so.
But Thames said some excuses provided by law may work to the advantage of some voters who plan to cast an absentee ballot by mail.
For example, voters who are physically incapacitated or care for someone who cannot be left unattended have additional application options. Those voters may apply for an absentee ballot by mail, facsimile or telegraph.
Voters confined to nursing homes may apply by mail or facsimile.
Once applications are received, Thames said, an absentee voting board will set up a small voting place at the facility where ballots may be cast in a precinct-like setting a few days before Election Day.
Military personnel, county residents who live overseas, and the spouses and dependents of each group are eligible to vote without being registered to vote, Thames said. Members of those groups may apply for absentee ballots by mail, email, or facsimile.
Military personnel should notify voting service officers in their units to obtain application forms and other voting information.
Oklahomans who live overseas may obtain the same material from the nearest U.S. military installation, embassy or consulate.
Military personnel and Oklahoma residents who live overseas may download an absentee ballot application from the Internet at www.fvap.gov.
Registered voters in Oklahoma may apply for an absentee ballot at any county election board or download one for printing at www.elections.ok.gov.
This year’s general election features the presidential contest, congressional and legislative races, some county elections and several state questions.