Election News to Know for Stephens County Voters
LOCAL COUNTY CANDIDATE FILINGS
Monday was the first day of candidate filing for council positions throughout Stephens County.
City of Duncan: Ward #1 - Jimmy Peters, and Ward #2 - Nicholas A Fischer Jr.
City of Comanche: Ward #3 - Sharon K. Rounds, Greg Morgan (election on April 4); Ward #4 - Austin Myers; At-Large - Keith Hampton, Dennis McQuinn and Brayden Harris
Town of Velma: 3 Trustee positions - Jessica Bryant, Justin Tugmon, Dennis Dickerson and Jimmie Castor; and a Town Clerk/Treasurer position - Holly McGuire
Stephens County Election Board Secretary Angela Dunagan reminds voters that Contests of Candidacy must be filed no later than Friday, Feb. 10 and may only be filed by another candidate for that office, unless a candidate files unopposed.
Declarations of Candidacy will be accepted for the following offices:
City of Duncan, Councilmember Wards #1 and #2
Town of Velma, 3 Trustees and Town Clerk/Treasurer
City of Comanche, Councilmember Wards #3, #4 and At Large
The municipal offices at stake will be filled in the nonpartisan General Election scheduled April 4.
Withdrawal and Contest filing runs through Friday at 5 p.m.
EARLY VOTING BEGINS FEBRUARY 9
Early voting begins Thursday, Feb. 9 for voters in several school districts in Stephens County. The school districts holding elections are Bray-Doyle, Comanche, Empire and Velma-Alma. Voters who will not be able to make it to the polls on Election Day, have the option of voting early at their County Election Board.
Stephens County Election Board Secretary, Angela Dunagan said early voting is open to all voters. “You do not need to provide an excuse to vote early. Oklahoma allows early voting for all elections conducted by the County Election Board or State Election Board — from school board and municipal elections to state and federal elections. This is a great option for those who will be out of town on Election Day or who want to avoid long lines,” Dunagan said.
Early voting is available 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 9 and Friday, Feb. 10, at the County Election Board located at 1075 West Elm Ave., in Duncan.
Dunagan reminds voters that early voting is not available at polling locations.
For questions, contact the Election Board at 580-255-8782 or StephensCounty@elections.ok.gov.
VOTER REGISTRATION DEADLINES APPROACH
Friday, February 10 is the last day to apply for voter registration to be eligible to vote in the March 7 Special State Election and Friday, March 10 is the last day to register for the April 4 municipal elections, Stephens County Election Board Secretary Angela Dunagan said this week.
Individuals who are United States Citizens, residents of Oklahoma, and at least 17 ½ years old are eligible to apply for voter registration. However, you must be at least 18 years old to vote. Applications must be received by the County Election Board or postmarked no later than midnight, Feb. 10 and March 10 respectively.
Applications postmarked after that time will be accepted, but will not be processed until after the March 7 and April 4 Elections. Applications may also be submitted to any motor vehicle agency that is also an official voter registration agency by the submission deadline. Applicants will be notified in writing when their application has been processed. Approved voters will receive a Voter Identification Card in the mail. Some may receive a letter that explains the reason or reasons the application was not approved. Dunagan said those who do not receive a response within 30 days of submitting their application should contact the County Election Board office immediately.
The Stephens County Election Board reminds voters that applications must be approved by the County Election Board Secretary in order to vote.
Registered voters who have moved to Stephens County from a different county or state will need to complete a new Voter Registration Application in order to be eligible for elections in Stephens County. If you have moved within the county and need to update your address, you may make changes online using the OK Voter Portal at oklahoma.gov/elections/ovp or complete a Voter Registration Application. Voter Registration Applications can be downloaded from the State Election Board website at
oklahoma.gov/elections. You may also complete a form at your County Election Board. Most post offices, tag agencies, and public libraries have applications available upon request. The Stephens County Election Board is located at 1075 West Elm Avenue and is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30
p.m., Monday through Friday. For questions, contact the Election Board at 580-255-8782 or StephensCounty@elections.ok.gov
ELECTION DAY LAWS AND REMINDERS
Voters in several School Districts are reminded to keep the integrity of the election system in mind, when going to the polls next week. Districts holding elections are Bray-Doyle, Comanche, Empire and Velma-Alma Schools.
While ballot “selfies” or taking photographs of a marked ballot are legal, voters may not share or distribute the image through social media or by any other means while inside the election enclosure. Voters must wait until they leave their polling place before posting or sharing the picture with anyone. Improper use of the photo could result in a violation of the law. Voters may not use the image to coerce, influence, or intimidate another voter. Stephens County Election Board Secretary Angela Dunagan said voters should be aware that violating the law has consequences.
“While some offenses may seem minor, unlawful activity on Election Day constitutes a serious crime and could result in a misdemeanor or in some cases, a felony conviction. We want all voters to be aware of their actions and be respectful of the rights of others.”
Dunagan said it is illegal to disclose how you voted with anyone while inside the election enclosure. In addition, you may not remove a ballot from the polling place.
Keep in mind that electioneering is prohibited within 300 feet of any ballot box while an election is in progress. This includes wearing or bringing visible campaign-related paraphernalia into the election enclosure. Dunagan notes that no one except election officials and voters waiting to vote are allowed within 50 feet of any ballot box on Election Day. Certain exceptions are made for media and those assisting disabled voters.
Voters are reminded that consuming alcohol of any kind or quantity within one-half mile of a polling place on Election Day is prohibited.
The polls will be open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 14.
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