A new state law effective Nov. 1, changed the dates and times state voters have come to expect for in-person “early” absentee voting across Oklahoma.
On Edmond’s Feb. 11 ballot is an Edmond Board of Education race between Cynthia Benson and Stephanie Bills for the District 4 seat. Only voters residing in District 4 are eligible to vote during early voting times and while polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Feb. 11.
“Early voting days in Oklahoma have changed from Friday/Monday to Thursday/Friday,” explained State Election Board Secretary Paul Ziriax. “As a result, in-person ‘early’ absentee voting will be Feb. 6 and Feb. 7 in counties with annual school or special elections on Feb. 11. The hours for early voting remain 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. at a voter’s county election board office. Early voting on Mondays is no longer available,” Ziriax said.
These changes are occurring due to the 2013 passage by the Oklahoma Legislature of Senate Bill 869, which was signed into law last May.
In addition, Saturdays will continue to be early voting days for all state and federal elections. Because the Feb. 11, election is not a federal or state election, but rather a local school or special election, no Saturday early voting will occur this month. However, whenever it’s available, the hours for Saturday early voting at County Election Board offices statewide will change to 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. During federal and state elections, when voter turnout is often the heaviest, the Saturday early voting option provides voters with a third opportunity to vote early.
“These changes help County Election Board officials place their focus entirely on Election Day preparations, instead of conducting early voting during the day immediately preceding an election,” the state election board secretary explained.
FOR MORE information about absentee voting in Oklahoma, as well as other election-related information, visit the State Election Board website at: http://elections.ok.gov.