The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Local and State News

June 19, 2014

Early voting begins today

ENID, Okla. — Voters across the state can mark their primary election ballots as early as today.

Early voting, also known as in-person absentee voting, takes place through Saturday at each county’s election board.

Garfield County Election Board is located at 903 Failing Drive.

Board Secretary Roy Schneider said some people may notice the early voting hours and days have changed.

“This is the first time we’ve had a big election, and this is the first time we’ve had Saturday hours,” he said.

The office will be open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. today and Friday, then 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.

Voting on Tuesday occurs at regular polling locations.

Voters must present their voter registration card or an approved form of identification. If not, the voter can only fill out a provisional ballot with a sworn affidavit.

Saturday voting only is available for state and federal elections, which typically bring out more voters. In earlier years, early voters could only cast their ballots on the Friday and Monday before an election day.

A new law governing early voting went into effect Nov. 1. The state’s chief election official said the change was needed to let poll workers prepare for the election rather than manage early voting.

If there is a race where no candidate receives a majority of the vote, there will be a runoff election Aug. 26. People have until Aug. 1 to register for that election and can request a absentee ballot no later than Aug. 20.

The statewide general election is Nov. 4.

Electioneering

In a recent press release, the election board warned against illegal actions near polling places. Schneider said the following is prohibited and could be subject to prosecution:

• Placement of campaign signs, or other electioneering, within 300 feet of a polling place.

• Telling someone how you voted while still inside the polling location.

• Removing or bringing in a ballot.

• Taking intoxicating liquors within half a mile of the ballot box.

• To be within 50 feet of a ballot box if you’re not a voter or election official.

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