Election season is in the air and the time to vote is right around the corner.
Aside from simply making the informed decision to cast a ballot, voters need to know how to become eligible to vote and when to cast that vote.
For those who are unregistered, the process is no more difficult than filling out an application.
According to the Oklahoma State Election Board website, applications can be found at libraries, tag agencies, and other public locations such as OCCC’s Student Life office. An application also is available for download here.
State Election Board Secretary Paul Ziriax said voters need to be registered 24 days in advance of any given election.
“Unfortunately unregistered voters will not be able to vote in the primary, but as long as the application is sent in and postmarked before the 24-day deadline, they can participate in upcoming elections,” Ziriax said.
To become eligible to vote in the state runoff election Aug. 28, unregistered voters need to send in an application by Aug. 3. To vote in the general election Nov. 6, the deadline is Oct. 12.
OCCC College Republicans President Zach Sumner said it takes no time to become registered.
“It’s so simple,” Sumner said. “You just print out the form, fill it out and send it in. Super simple, super convenient.”
Ziriax said he urges Oklahoma citizens to become registered. He said voting is a right that should be taken advantage of.
“I think Americans too often take the right to vote for granted … ” he said. “It’s a right that men and women have fought, bled, and died for.
“They give us the freedom to vote for our government so it’s very important, in my opinion, that the citizens of the United States take responsibility and get out there and vote.”
For those who are registered and plan to vote, the traditional assigned polling place may have changed.
Every 10 years, the re-drawing of district lines for the U.S. Congress, State Senate and State House of Representatives are conducted to ensure equal district populations, Ziriax said.
“Following the redistricting process of 2011, many voters had to be assigned to different polling places.
For voters who have not voted yet in 2012, we encourage them to confirm their precinct assignment and polling place,” Ziriax said.
For more information on voter registration in Oklahoma, visit the Oklahoma State Election Board website at www.ok.gov/elections/Voter_Registration.
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