Carter County gears up for 2020 election

Drew Butler
drew.butler@ardmoreite.com
News alert

Update: The original article incorrectly listed the day for the 2020 presidential election as Tuesday, November 2. The election Tuesday, November 3.

As of October 1, Carter County had 30,771 registered voters going into the 2020 election, and this year more voters than ever will be voting by absentee ballot. In fact, more absentee ballots have already been returned to the Carter County Election Board than during the entire 2016 election.

According to Carter County Election Board Secretary Diane Hall, 864 absentee ballots had been returned as of Monday afternoon.

“Four years ago, we had around 800 absentee ballot requests,” Hall said. “This year we’ve had over 2,000 and we’re getting more requests every day.”

The last day to request an absentee ballot is October 27. However, Hall urged anyone who plans on voting absentee to request a ballot as soon as possible because all absentee ballots must be returned to the Carter County Election Board by 5 p.m. on Monday, November 2 in order to be counted. Voters may request an absentee ballot online at okvoterportal.okelections.us or they can pick up the absentee request form at the election board located at 25 A St. NW in Ardmore.

This year absentee ballots will come in two varieties, one for those who are incapacitated or at high risk of developing complications from COVID-19 and do not want to risk exposure. When these ballots are returned, they must include either a copy of their ID or the signatures of two witnesses aged 18 or over.

The other type of absentee ballot is for anyone requesting an absentee ballot for any other reason. These ballots must be returned with either a copy of their ID or a notarized signature.

For those choosing to vote in person. Early voting will begin at the Carter County Election Board on October 29. Early voting hours will be from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursday, October 29 and Friday, October 30. Early voting hours will be from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on October 31.

For those who plan to vote on Election Day, polling places will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, November 3. All voters are required to present proof of identification which can be any photo identification issued by the United States Government, the State of Oklahoma, or a federally recognized tribal government. They may also show their county election board voter identification card that they have received via mail after they registered to vote.

Those who do not have an ID or refuse to show proof of identity may vote by provisional ballot and prove their identity by signing a sworn affidavit.