What You Need To Know Before You Vote

Sunday, November 4th 2012, 8:34 pm

By: News On 6

Oklahomans will have some important decisions to make Tuesday. To make those decisions easier, we have compiled a list of frequently asked questions for Election Day 2012.

What races will be on the Oklahoma ballot Tuesday?

Every ballot in Oklahoma will list the presidential race, a congressional race and six state questions. Depending on where voters live, they also will decide some state House, state Senate, and a number of local races.

What new faces might I see?

Oklahoma will have at least two new members of Congress after Tuesday's election.

In the 1st Congressional District, that includes Tulsa and portions of some surrounding counties, Republican Jim Bridenstine knocked off five-term incumbent Republican U.S. Rep. John Sullivan in the June primary. Bridenstine, a Navy pilot from Tulsa, faces Democrat John Olson, a Tulsa small businessman and Army reservist. Independent Craig Allen also will appear on the ballot.

9/18/2012 Related Story: First District Congressional Candidates Face Off In Bartlesville

Voters also will elect a new congressman in the 2nd Congressional District that stretches across 26 eastern Oklahoma counties, from the Red River border with Texas to the state's border with Kansas. Republican Markwayne Mullin, a plumber from Westville, faces Democrat Rob Wallace, a longtime state and federal prosecutor from Fort Gibson, in the race to replace retiring U.S. Rep. Dan Boren, the only Democrat in the state's congressional delegation. Independent Michael Fulks of Heavener is also in the race.

10/29/2012 Related Story: District 2 Congressional Candidates Have First, Only Debate At Rogers State

What about those ballot issues?

Oklahoma will have six state questions on the ballot: whether to lower the limit property valuation increases from 5 percent to 3 percent; whether to ban affirmative action programs in state government; whether to remove the governor from the parole process for certain nonviolent offenders; whether to allow the Oklahoma Water Resources Board to issue bonds; whether to abolish the governing body of the Oklahoma Department of Human Services and allow the Legislature to replace it with new governing bodies; and whether to exempt certain intangible property, like patents or brand names, from property tax.

10/30/2012 Related Story: Oklahoma Voters To Cast Ballots On Six State Questions

What time do the polls open?

Polls open at 7 a.m. and close at 7 p.m. If you are in line at 7 p.m., you will be allowed to vote. On Monday, the last day for early voting, you can vote at your county election board from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

How do I find my polling place?

The Oklahoma State Election Board has a polling place locator on its website, where voters can enter their ZIP code to find their polling place. Voters without Internet access can call their local county election board to find their polling place.

I had an absentee ballot mailed to me but haven't returned it yet. Am I too late?

No, but you better hurry. Absentee ballots must be returned to a voter's county election board before the polls close.

I forgot to register to vote. Am I out of luck?

Sadly, yes. But if you register now you will be able to vote in the statewide elections of 2014.

Do I need a photo ID to vote?

Voters must show either a valid state or federal identification card or the voter identification card that they received in the mail from the county election board when they registered to vote. Voters without one of these forms of identification may only vote by provisional ballot and sign an affidavit explaining why their provisional ballot should be counted.


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