Absentee Voting In Full Swing

Saturday, February 2nd 2008, 6:07 pm
By: News On 6

It is two days and counting until Oklahoman's get their say in the race for the White House.  The state's presidential primary will be held along with nearly two dozen others as part of Super Tuesday.  The News On 6's Dan Bewley reports some are already filling out their ballots while others think the entire process needs a second look.

Voting is already underway in Tulsa County.  Democrats and Republicans are making their choices for president while some say state law leaves them on the outside looking in.

"We're conducting in-person absentee voting," said Shelly Boggs, Tulsa County Election Board.

It's a chance for registered voters to fill out the ballot before Tuesday's presidential primary and it's not just for those who will be out of town.

"It's no-excuse absentee voting. You don't have to have a reason to need to vote early," said Boggs.

Almost 60 voters an hour have taken advantage of the opportunity.  On Friday, nearly 500 people voted early.  As Tuesday's primary gets closer, county officials want to make sure everyone understands the rules.  By state law, only registered voters of a particular party can vote in a presidential primary.

"So only democrats will be voting in a democratic primary, only republicans will be voting in the republican primary. Independents will not participate in the Presidential Primary's," said Boggs.

Not everyone says that's the American way.

The state's Libertarian party has been fighting to get the law changed. Oklahoma party chairman Jimmy Cook says the primary should be open to those outside the two main parties. 

"It would be good because you want people to vote for the candidate, not necessarily the party. You want people to get more involved in the political process; you want them to research the candidates.  You want them to know who they're voting for," said Cook.

But a 2005 court ruling backed state law.  Oklahoma's presidential primary is only open to party members.          

In-person absentee voting continues on Monday from 8:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.