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What You Need To Know As Oklahoma's 3-Day Early Voting Period Starts

An elections clerk cuts from a strip of "I voted" stickers at a polling place in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, June 28, 2016.
Sue Ogrocki

Early voting in Oklahoma got underway Thursday morning and runs through Saturday.

State Election Board spokesman Bryan Dean says voters will be able to cast ballots from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday and Friday, and from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at county election boards across Oklahoma.

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"You may still see a few lines, but it will probably move a little faster than it might on Election Day,” Dean said.

Saturday will likely be the busiest day of early voting. In 2012, some Cleveland County residents waited in line for more than two hours, standing in a line that wrapped around the building at Porter Ave. and Robinson Street.

Two metro counties have satellite locations in addition to the county election boards.

Oklahoma County voters can also cast ballots starting Thursday at the Edmond Church of Christ on Bryant Avenue a block south of 2nd Street, and Cleveland County voters can cast ballots at the Moore-Norman Technology Center's campus at Southwest 134th Street and Penn.

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Dean said he's already seen a spike in the number of people who voted early by mail.

Nearly 71,000 absentee ballots had been received as of Thursday. That's compared to about 61,000 in 2012.

The State Election Board says nearly 2.2 million Oklahomans are registered. That’s an increase of 175,000 since January, and 40,000 over 2012.

“Republicans are the fastest growing in terms of as raw numbers and as a share of the electorate, and that’s been a trend that been happening for some time,” State Election Board Secretary Paul Ziriax said. “But we are also seeing that independents are the fastest growing part of the electorate, and their registration has actually gone up 17.5 percent this year.

Ziriax said although the number of Democrats in the state grew over the year, the party’s share of the electorate continues to decline.

What Kind Of ID Will I Need When I Do Go Vote?

In 2010, 74 percent of Oklahoma voters approved the voter ID law contained in State Question 746. It requires you to prove your identity by either showing a photo ID, a county election board voter ID card (which you should’ve gotten by mail when you registered).

Any document issued by the United States, the State of Oklahoma, or a federally recognized Native American tribal government is acceptable as long as it includes your name, a photograph, and has not expired.

If you don’t have a photo ID, you can sign an affidavit and cast a provisional ballot. It will be counted after Election Day once your county election board investigates and verifies the information provided on the affidavit.

If you’re voting absentee, you don’t need to enclose a copy of your photo ID, but the signatures will have to be notarized.

Am I Even Eligible To Vote?

If you’re a U.S. citizen, an Oklahoma resident, and 18 years on Election Day, you can register to vote.

Convicted felons may not register for a period equal to the time of the original sentence. Pardoned felons may register. You’re also ineligible if you’ve been judged incapacitated by a court.

How Do I Know If I’m Registered?

You can confirm your voter registration online. You’ll need two pieces of information:

  • First and last name.
  • Date of birth.

You can also view a sample ballot, track your absentee ballot (if you requested one), and find your polling place for Election Day.
More Information

There’s a lot more helpful information and frequently asked questions on the Oklahoma State Election Board website. You can also call (405) 521-2391.

KGOU produces journalism in the public interest, essential to an informed electorate. Help support informative, in-depth journalism with a donation online, or contact our Membership department.

Brian Hardzinski is from Flower Mound, Texas and a graduate of the University of Oklahoma. He began his career at KGOU as a student intern, joining KGOU full time in 2009 as Operations and Public Service Announcement Director. He began regularly hosting Morning Edition in 2014, and became the station's first Digital News Editor in 2015-16. Brian’s work at KGOU has been honored by Public Radio News Directors Incorporated (PRNDI), the Oklahoma Association of Broadcasters, the Oklahoma Associated Press Broadcasters, and local and regional chapters of the Society of Professional Journalists. Brian enjoys competing in triathlons, distance running, playing tennis, and entertaining his rambunctious Boston Terrier, Bucky.
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