Early Voting Begins for Runoff Primary; Absentee Ballot Return Options AvailableWed, 19 Aug 2020 14:08:01 CDT
Early voting for the August 25 Runoff Primary begins this week for voters in fifty (50) counties. Early voting is available this Thursday and Friday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Counties with state or federal runoff elections will also have early voting on Saturday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
While some voters in these counties will have a runoff primary election, others may only have a local or county election or no election at all. State Election Board Secretary Paul Ziriax said it is important to make sure you have an election before you head to the polls.
"I always recommend checking the OK Voter Portal before you head to the polls to find your polling place and view a sample ballot. If you have a sample ballot available in the portal, that means you have an election in your precinct. If no ballot is available, it means you do not have an election," said Ziriax.
Secretary Ziriax also reminds voters that Oklahoma is a closed primary state.
"In order to vote in a party's primary or runoff primary, you must be a registered voter of that party. The Democratic Party, however, has made an exception for Independent voters for the 2020 and 2021 election years. If you're an Independent voter you may ask for a Democratic Party primary ballot," Ziriax said.
The Republican Party and Libertarian Party have chosen to keep their primaries closed.
Voters who have requested an absentee ballot for the August 25 Runoff Primary have several return options. Absentee ballots can be returned by the United States Postal Service or a private mail carrier, provided delivery documentation is provided.
Standard absentee ballots, the most common form of ballot, can be hand-delivered to the county election board provided the ballot is returned no later than the end of business day, the Monday prior to the election. Only the voter may hand-deliver his or her own absentee ballot. Please be prepared to show proof of identity when you drop off your ballot. You will be asked to show the same identification that is required when you vote at the polls.
Absentee ballots returned by mail for the August 25 election must be received by the County Election Board no later than 7 p.m. on Election Day.
Voters can track their absentee ballot using the OK Voter Portal.
Social distancing and COVID-19 safety protocols will be in place during early voting and on Election Day. While masks or face coverings are not required at voting locations, they are strongly recommended.
You will find more information about COVID-19 and the 2020 elections on the State Election Board website.
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