Absentee Voting

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Summary of Policy Considerations

Policy Considerations

The Legislature may consider the following policy changes:

  • Requiring that any future changes to Oklahoma’s election processes or voting equipment maintain the statewide uniformity of the election system.
  • Requiring post-election audits by the State Election Board. Current statutes permit the audits, but do not require them.
  • Requiring risk limiting audits to be conducted by the State Election Board, contingent upon the purchase of updated voting technology.
  • Exempt voting equipment from approval requirements under Title 74, Section 85.5.
  • Expand the use of Nursing Home Absentee Boards to include residents at Assisted Living and Residential Care Facilities who have limited mobility.
  • Requiring county election boards to count absentee ballots in a single room that is accessible to the public.
  • Changing the name of the State Election Board agency to the State Election Agency or Bureau to avoid confusion with the State Election Board.
  • Changing the statutory term of “in-person absentee” voting to “early voting” to clarify the types of voting available to the electorate.

Summary of Agency Recommendations

Agency Considerations

The Agency should:

  • Indicate the postage required on the upper right-hand corner of the outer mailing envelope for mail in ballots.
  • Clarify for county election boards:
  1. Whether two properly notarized ballots may be mailed in a single outer envelope.
  2. Whether a signed and notarized ballot must also include the date signed.
  • Clarify the voter instructions provided with the absentee ballot to describe the steps needed to notarize a ballot. Include a link to the State Election Board website for a list of free notary publics in their area.
  • Require two staff or board members be physically present with the ballots at all times when transporting unlocked ballots between rooms, such as what occurs in large counties.
  • Clarify that each lock on the absentee storage boxes must use a unique key.
  • Modify absentee ballot rejection categories to distinguish between incorrect notarization or lack of notarization. 
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