Early voting begins Thursday

Drew Butler
News alert

Yesterday was the final day to submit a request for absentee ballots. According to Carter County Election Board Secretary Diane Hall, as of late Tuesday afternoon they had sent out 2,246, and 1,371 had already been returned. Registered voters who have not requested an absentee ballot will now need to head to the polls if they want to participate in the 2020 election.

Early voting begins tomorrow, Thursday, October 29 and will take place at the Carter County Election Board Office located at 25 A St. NW in Ardmore. Voting hours are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, and from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday.

For those who prefer to vote on Election Day, Tuesday, November 3, polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Hall said lines are possible during peak voting times such as around lunch and 5 p.m. For shorter wait times she suggests voting mid-morning or mid-afternoon. Though the polls close at 7 p.m., anyone waiting at line at 7 p.m. will still be allowed to cast their ballot. 

Oklahoma law requires every person who votes in person, whether at the polling precinct or at the Carter County Election Board during early voting, to show proof of identity. This identification could be the presentation of a valid photo ID issued by federal, state or tribal government, or they can present their free voter identification card. They may also sign an affidavit to vote a provisional ballot. If the information on the affidavit matches official voter registration records, the ballot will be counted after election day.

Physically disabled voters who cannot enter the polling place, need help marking ballots, or blind or visually disabled voters may be assisted by a person a voter chooses. This person cannot be the voter’s employer, an agent of the employer, or an officer or agent of the voter’s union. The person providing assistance must also swear or affirm that the voter’s ballots will be marked in accordance with the voter's wishes. 

Voters who have moved since the last election but have not transferred their voter registration to their new address may do so on election day by going to vote at the polling place they have used in the past. There, they can fill out a form instructing the election board to transfer their registration to the new address before the election