The first ballots for the November election have been cast by absentee ballots, as Oklahoma’s election boards are mailing out ballots in record numbers.
Election officials recognize absentee voting can be confusing, so they encourage voters to carefully follow directions to ensure their voice is counted.
Tulsa County mailed out 45,000 absentee ballots in the first batch. More go out everyday and a handful have already been mailed back.
Election Specialist Forrest Burd reminds absentee voters to read those instructions carefully.
“Once they've filled out the ballot and placed it in the ballot envelope, seal that up, put that into the affidavit envelope and the affidavit envelope goes into the green return envelope,” Burd said.
The green mailing envelope should have two envelopes inside when it goes back into the mail. The ballot and nothing else should be in the smallest one.
Another essential to either have the ballot notarized or include a copy of a photo ID, or a copy of the voter ID card. Voters are required to sign the affidavit envelope and election officials urge voters to mail them back as soon as possible.
"They think they do that, and they have to include the forms of an ID. It's an either, or,” Burd said. “If you choose not to have it notarized, just include a copy of your photo ID or your voter registration card, one or the other."
Burd said the most common mistake voters make is forgetting their own signature.
Even though mail carriers are already delivering ballots, it’s not too late to register to vote or request an absentee ballot.