Early Voting This Weekend; Election Day Tuesday

by Elizabeth Pitts-Hibbard

Voters will head to the polls on Tuesday for the November 3 General Election, and record turnout is expected. Those wishing to vote early in-person may do so at the Stephens County Courthouse this Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.

Stephens County Election Board Secretary Angela Dunagan said that early voting will take place in the main lobby of the Stephens County Courthouse from 8am – 6pm on Thursday the 29th and Friday the 30th, and from 9am – 2pm on Saturday the 31st. Anyone in line to vote at 6pm on Thursday and Friday, or at 2pm on Saturday, will be allowed to cast a ballot.

At the Stephens County Commissioners meeting on Monday, District 1 Commissioner Kreg Murprhree said that he had worked with County officials to make plans for the early voting setup at the Courthouse this weekend.

Murphree said that voters will enter the Courthouse though the main door on the east side of the building, go through the security checkpoint, and then line up in the main lobby. Voting tables will be in the south hallway of the main floor, and voters will exit through the south doors after submitting their ballots.

“That’s going to give them fifteen voting spots, so hopefully it doesn’t back up into the common area,” Murphree said. “We should be able to keep a flow going, so you shouldn’t have to wait for a spot to go vote.”

A sheriff deputy will be at the end of the south hall to facilitate traffic flow at the ballot scanning machine.

Murphree said that the change in early-voting arrangements would allow for continuous flow, social distancing, and handicap accessibility.

Information issued by the County Election Board said that on Tuesday, the polls would be open from 7am until 7pm as usual, adding that lines are possible at peak voting times.

“Wait times will likely be shortest at mid-morning and mid-afternoon,” Dunagan said. “Anyone in line to vote at 7pm will be allowed to cast a ballot.”

To look up a polling place, verify registration, or view a sample ballot, voters should use the Online Voter Tool on the Oklahoma State Election Board website: www.ok.gov/elections/OVP. Sample ballots are also on PAGE NUMBER of this issue of The Marlow Review.

Oklahoma law requires every in-person voter, either at the precinct or at the early voting site, to show proof of identity before they may vote. One of the following is required: a valid photo ID issued by federal, state, or tribal government; a voter registration card issued by the County Election Board; or sign an affidavit and vote a provisional ballot, which will be counted after Election Day if the information matches official records.

Voters who are physically disabled and cannot enter the polling place, or who need help marking their ballots due to blindness or visual disability may be assisted by a person the voter chooses. That person must swear or affirm that the voter’s ballot will be marked as the voter wishes. There is also an audio-tactile interface on all Oklahoma voting devices if the voter wishes to vote without assistance.

If a voter has moved since the last election but did not transfer registration to their new address, they may vote on Election Day at their previous voting location and fill out a form instructing the Election Board to transfer their registration to the new address.

Emergency absentee ballots may be issued to voters who became physically incapacitated after 5pm on Tuesday, October 27 by calling the County Election Board Office at 580-255-8782.