League Of Women Voters Says New Law Doesn't Fix Problems With Absentee Ballot Voting

Friday, May 8th 2020, 8:13 pm
By: Brooke Griffin

New guidelines begin Friday for casting an absentee ballot in Oklahoma due to the new lifestyle of social distancing during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Voters are either required to include a copy of their federally issued ID in the envelope when they mail their ballot in or get the ballot notarized.

This comes after the decision was made earlier this week to get rid of the notarization requirement so that voters could easier cast their vote while social distancing.

The League of Women Voters doesn’t agree with the legislature’s decision. The League’s president Janet argent said both of those options make absentee voting dangerous and difficult.

“The League of Women Voters of Oklahoma was quite disappointed that the Oklahoma Legislature passed SB 210 that was then signed into law by Governor Stitt to undo the Oklahoma State Supreme Court's decision to protect voters during COVID-19,” Largent said.

Oklahoma State Board Secretary of Elections Paul Ziriax said they are doing the best they can to make sure you can still cast your vote on June 30th while staying home and away from others.

“As the chief election official, I have a duty to find a balance between election security and integrity on one hand and voter convenience on the other, I think what the legislature did this week was take a big step forward in finding that balance,” Ziriax said.

Largent said the legislatures decision didn’t solve the issue of voting during coronavirus at all but simply changes the problem instead.

“Many voters don't have printers in their homes and would have to leave to get a copy of their ID, potentially exposing them to the virus.”

Oklahoma state board of elections secretary said he believes this is the right way to move forward.

The deadline to apply for an absentee ballot for the June 30th elections is June 24th, giving you seven days to receive your ballot in the mail, fill it out, and send it in to ensure that your vote counts.

You can fill out your absentee ballot application at ok.gov/elections.

The Tulsa County Board of Elections said if you do decide to vote in person, please keep social distancing in mind.