Super Tuesday: Early primary voting begins tomorrow
Editor’s note: The print version of this story contained incorrect information about when to cast ballots. The following article has been corrected.
Super Tuesday may be one of the biggest days during the presidential primary election season, but some voters can already begin casting their primary ballots. Oklahoma voters can head to their polling precinct on March 3 to cast a ballot or take advantage of early voting options this week.
Voters who need an absentee ballot can request one from the Carter County Election Board no later than 5 p.m. today. Early voting begins on Thursday and lasts until Saturday. According to information from the Oklahoma State Election Board, early voting will be held at county election boards on Thursday and Friday between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m., and again on Saturday from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m.
Staff at the Carter County Election Board said voters taking part in early voting will need to cast their ballot in person. Absentee ballots must be returned to the election board during normal business hours and received by the election board before 7 p.m. on election day.
Oklahoma voters will join 14 other states and territories in the largest single day of caucuses or primary elections in the nation. Political parties use the primary elections to narrow down their respective field of presidential candidates.
Since 1988, Republican and Democratic winners of Super Tuesday primary elections have gone on to secure their party nominations.
Oklahoma was a closed-primary state, meaning voters with a party affiliation can only vote in that party’s primary elections. Last December, the Oklahoma Democratic Party opened their primary elections to registered Independent voters. Independent voters cannot participate in Republican or Libertarian primaries.
For registered Republicans in Oklahoma, President Donald Trump faces five primary challengers. For registered Democrats and Independents, 14 presidential hopefuls will appear on the ballot. Nearly half of the candidates that appear on the Democratic ballot have already announced the suspension of their campaigns, especially after weak results in early voting states like New Hampshire and Iowa.
No Libertarian Party candidates filed with the state election board during the candidate qualifying period.
According to data from the Oklahoma State Election Board, the number of registered voters in Carter County dropped slightly between January 2019 and January 2020. A local election official said early this month that the drop of 634 voters in that time was due to a statewide purge of inactive voters.
People who have not cast ballots or updated voter registration in the previous two presidential elections are automatically removed from voter rolls, but that information is still kept for two years. Voters deemed inactive who either cast a ballot or update their registration within those two years are added back to the active voter rolls.
For more information ahead of Super Tuesday elections, including sample ballots and to verify voter registration, visit the Oklahoma State Election Board website at ok.gov/elections.