Election Officials Gear Up For Next Week

Wednesday, October 29th 2008, 8:02 am
By: News On 6

By Charles Bassett, NEWS 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Early voting in person begins Friday throughout Oklahoma, and officials are predicting record turnouts, warning voters to expect long lines.

Election workers have already been hard at work, putting in long hours, and the ballots are ready for the early voting.

"We've brought in all the personnel we can so we'll process voters as quickly as possible, but obviously there's going to be long lines," Elections Board Secretary Doug Sanderson said.

Almost 416,000 voters are registered in Oklahoma County, but officials said they don't expect a high turnout for early voting.

"We're geared up as best we can be," Sanderson said. "There will be five voting devices for voters to put their ballots...there will be over 170 or so voting booths."

Miguel Medrano will be an early voter. He said he'll be part of a rally Saturday that's expected to produce up to 100 early voters.

"There's going to be a little lengthier ballot then we're used to," Medrano said. "It's going to take a lot more time."

There are some points voters should be aware of before showing up at the voting booth:

     -Voters must vote at the Elections Office in the county they reside in
     -Voters will have to fill out information on a form before voting, verifying their identification
     -No party-affilitated clothing or accessories

"On that day, they just need to wear regular clothes, no Obama or McCain T-shirts," Medrano said.

Absentee voters have until Wednesday to make a request for ballots. They have until Election Day to return them and will have to pay the required 76 cents postage to mail it off.

"We mailed out 18,000 of them," Sanderson said. "None of them came back undeliverable."

People have already showed up for a couple of weeks, trying to vote early.