Oklahomans encouraged to register, vote

June 21, 2012 Feature Print Print
Share!

1 | 2 | 3

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.

The 411 on voting

Eligibility

A person who is eligible to register to vote must be at least 18 years old, a U.S. citizen and a resident of Oklahoma.

How to Register

FIll out a voter registration application available at your County Election Board, post offices, tag agencies, libraries and many other public locations. You also may download an application form. You must sign and date the oath printed on the form. When you sign the voter registration application form, you swear that you are eligible to register to vote.

Changing Your Registration

If you need to change your name, your address or your political affiliation, you must fill out another voter registration application form. You may change your registration at any time with one exception. You may not change your political affiliation during the period from April 1 through Aug. 31, inclusive, in any even-numbered year. The last day on which you may change your political affiliation before the closed period is March 31; the first day on which you may change your political affiliation after the closed period is Sept. 1.

Voter Identification Card

You do not become a registered voter until the county election board in the county where you reside has approved your application. When your application is approved, the county election board will mail a voter identification card to you. Your voter identification card lists your name, address, political affiliation and the polling place for your voting precinct. When you receive your voter identification card, look at it carefully and report any errors to the county election board immediately. Keep your voter identification card in a safe place and always take it with you when you go to vote.

When to Register

You may submit your voter registration application form at any time. However, voter identification cards cannot be issued during the 24 days prior to an election. If your registration application is received by the county election board during the 24 days before an election, you will not receive your voter identification card until after the election. If you will become 18 during the 60 days before an election, you may apply for voter registration between 25 and 60 days before the election.

For additional information about voting in Oklahoma, contact your local county election board or the State Election Board at 405-521-2391 or info@elections.ok.gov.

www.ok.gov/elections/Voter_Registration

“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.

To contact Morgan Beard, email pioneermedia@occc.edu.

Write a Reply or Comment