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|Attention Notaries Public: Senate Bill 1466 places restrictions on your authority to notarize absentee ballot affidavits in Oklahoma. Information and the text of the bill are available here.|
Absentee voting is an easy and convenient way to exercise your right to vote.
Any registered voter in Oklahoma may vote by absentee ballot. It is not necessary to give a reason for voting absentee.
Title 26 of the Oklahoma Statutes provides that any person who knowingly executes a false application for an absentee ballot shall be deemed guilty of a felony. Any person deemed guilty of a felony under provisions of Title 26 shall, upon conviction, be confined in the State Penitentiary for not more than five (5) years, or fined not more than Fifty Thousand Dollars ($50,000.00), or both.
You are not required to use the form, however. You may write a letter to your county election board to apply for absentee ballots. The letter must contain the following information.
You may apply for absentee ballots for one election, for several elections or for all elections in which you are eligible to vote during the calendar year in which the application is submitted.
You may mail your absentee ballot application to the county election board, you may fax it or you may deliver your own application personally to the county election board office. (You may not deliver an application for another person, however. It's the law.) You may scan your signed application and e-mail it to your county election board. You also may send a telegram to apply.
The deadline to apply for an absentee ballot to be mailed to you is always 5 p.m. on Wednesday preceding the election.
If your absentee ballot is mailed to you, you must return it to the county election board by mail. An absentee ballot must be received by the county election board before 7 p.m. on election day to be counted.
Voters may cast an absentee ballot in person at the county election board office from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursday and Friday before all elections. For state and federal elections only, in-person absentee voting also is available from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday. In-person absentee voters must fill out and sign an application form when they arrive to vote.
Although any voter can vote an absentee ballot without giving a reason, the law still contains some "excuses" for voting absentee. Some voters benefit by using one of those excuses when they apply for absentee ballots. These excuses activate special conditions that make absentee voting even easier.
Physically incapacitated voters and voters who care for physically incapacitated persons who cannot be left alone may vote by absentee ballot. These voters may submit their applications only by mail, fax, or by an agent. If these voters choose to have their applications submitted to the County Election Board by an agent, the agent must be at least 16 years old and may not be employed by or related within the third degree by blood or marriage to a candidate whose name is on the ballot.The agent may act for only one voter per election.The agent will be asked to sign a form at the County Election Board office providing his or her name and attesting to these facts.
Physically incapacitated voters and voters who care for physically incapacitated persons who cannot be left alone are not required to have their signatures on the absentee affidavits notarized. They are required to have their signatures witnessed by two people.
Voters in nursing homes in the same county where they are registered voters may vote absentee. They may submit their applications only by mail or fax, or telegraph. An Absentee Voting Board will go to the nursing home a few days before the election to allow these voters to cast their ballots.
Oklahomans who are in the military or who are living overseas and their spouses and dependents may vote by absentee ballot even if they are not registered to vote. (They must be eligible to be registered, however.) Military and overseas voters may submit their applications only by mail, fax or e-mail. Military voters should contact the Voting Assistance Officers in their units for application forms and information. Overseas voters may obtain the same materials at United States military installations, embassies and consulates, or online from the Federal Voting Assistance Program. (The site will open in a new window.) Military and overseas voters who need to contact their County Election Board in Oklahoma can find e-mail addresses here.
Voters who become incapacitated after 5 p.m. on the Tuesday preceding an election may receive an absentee ballot through special emergency procedures. These voters must make a written request to the county election board. The request must be accompanied by a statement from a doctor that the voter is incapacitated and will be unable to vote in person on election day. The voter's request and the doctor's statement must be taken to the county election board office by a person the voter chooses. The person becomes the voter's "agent."
The county election board can provide a form to be used for both the voter's request and the doctor's statement.
The agent will receive the voter's ballot and will deliver it to the voter. After the voter marks the ballot, the agent must return it to the county election board office before 7 p.m. election day.