The Edmond Sun


October 29, 2012

Can U.N. observers monitor Oklahoma elections?

EDMOND — This article is a continuation of last week’s column that answers some of the questions I am receiving about next week’s elections.

One constituent asked about in-person absentee voting. This is an option for those who cannot go to their precinct on election day. In-person absentee voting takes place on the Friday (8 a.m. to 6 p.m.), Saturday (8 a.m. to 1 p.m.) and Monday (8 a.m. to 6 p.m.) before the election on Nov. 6. Oklahoma County voters may cast in-person absentee ballots at the Oklahoma County Election Board at 4201 N. Lincoln in Oklahoma City. This is just a bit south of I-44 on Lincoln. Logan County residents may vote at the Logan County Election Board at 224 E. Vilas in Guthrie. The Logan County Election Board is across the street to the west of the sheriff's office.

Another voter asked what identification would be required in order to vote. Two years ago, Oklahoma voters approved a new voter identification law. This important law requires voters to prove their identity prior to voting. This can be done with a driver’s license, government-issued photo ID or the voter ID card issued by the county election board.

One writer asked if Oklahoma elections could be monitored by an observer from organizations affiliated with the United Nations. This question was prompted after news stories reported that observers with a U.N.-affiliated organization known as the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) will be observing next week’s elections at locations throughout the United States.

Oklahoma’s poll watching law does not have a provision for allowing an observer to observe voters as they vote.

Section 7-130 of Title 26 of Oklahoma law speaks to this issue. In order to qualify as a poll watcher, an individual must be appointed by either a candidate for office or a political party. On the morning of election day, prior to the opening of the precinct, the watcher may observe the setup of the polling machine and take note of the starting serial numbers on the ballots to be issued. He then must leave the precinct before voting commences. Watchers are not allowed to remain at the polling place during voting hours. After 7 p.m., when the polling place closes, the watcher may return to the precinct and verify the ending serial numbers of each ballot book.

I do not believe there is any provision of law that would allow observers to enter into a polling location during voting hours. And, unless a watcher receives an appointment from either a candidate or one of the three recognized political parties, there shouldn’t be a mechanism for an observer to enter an Oklahoma polling location before or after the precinct closes.

I hope these articles have been helpful in answering questions some of the local residents have had about the upcoming voting process.

REP. JASON MURPHEY, R-Guthrie, represents House District 31, which encompasses all of Logan County and a portion of northern Edmond. He may be reached via email at, on Facebook at and

Text Only
  • The pessimist’s guide to grizzly bears and Earth Day

    This coming Friday, to “celebrate Earth Day,” the Walt Disney Co. will release one of those cutesy, fun-for-all-ages, nature documentaries. “Bears” is about grizzly bears.
    The trailer says, “From DisneyNature comes a story that all parents share. About the love, the joy, the struggle and the strength it takes to raise a family.”
    Talk about your misguided “Hollywood values.” I previously have acknowledged a morbid, unreasonable fear of grizzly bears, stemming from a youth misspent reading grisly grizzly-attack articles in Readers Digest. This fear is only morbid and unreasonable because I live about 1,500 miles from the nearest wild grizzly bear. Still. ...

    April 16, 2014

  • Digging out of the CIA-Senate quagmire

    Last week, the Senate Intelligence Committee, led by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., voted to declassify parts of its report on the CIA’s rendition, detention and interrogation program. The White House, the CIA and the Senate still have to negotiate which portions of the report will be redacted before it is made public. But this is an important step in resolving the ugly dispute that has erupted between the intelligence committee and the intelligence agency.
    The dispute presents two very serious questions. Was the program consistent with American values and did it produce valuable intelligence? And is effective congressional oversight of secret activities possible in our democracy?

    April 15, 2014

  • Los Angeles Times: Congress extend jobless benefits again

    How’s this for irony: Having allowed federal unemployment benefits to run out in December, some lawmakers are balking at a bill to renew them retroactively because it might be hard to figure out who should receive them. Congress made this task far harder than it should have been, but the technical challenges aren’t insurmountable. Lawmakers should restore the benefits now and leave them in place until the unemployment rate reaches a more reasonable level.

    April 14, 2014

  • Many nations invested in Israel

    Former Israeli Ambassador to the United States Yoram Ettinger recently spoke to a gathering at the Chabad Center for Jewish Life and Learning in Oklahoma City. The event began with a presentation by Rabbi Ovadia Goldman, who told the attendee that the  upcoming Jewish holiday of Passover was an occasion for them to embrace the children of God, which is all of humanity.

    April 14, 2014

  • Coming soon: More ways to get to know your doctor

    Last week, the federal government released a massive database capable of providing patients with much more information about their doctors.
    The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the government agency that runs Medicare, is posting on its website detailed information about how many visits and procedures individual health professionals billed the program for in 2012, and how much they were paid.
    This new trove of data, which covers 880,000 health professionals, adds to a growing body of information available to patients who don’t want to leave choosing a doctor to chance. But to put that information to good use, consumers need to be aware of what is available, what’s missing and how to interpret it.

    April 14, 2014

  • HEY HINK: Hateful bullies attempt to muffle free speech

    Hopefully we agree it should be a fundamental right to voice criticism of any religion you wish. And you should have the right to sing the praises of any religion you choose. If criticism of religion is unjust, feel free to make your best argument to prove it. If criticism is just, don’t be afraid to acknowledge and embrace it. If songs of praise are merited, feel free to join in. If not, feel free to ignore them. But no American should participate in curbing free speech just because expression of religious views makes someone uncomfortable.

    April 11, 2014

  • Putting Oklahoma parents in charge

    Oklahoma’s public schools serve many children very well. Still, for various reasons, some students’ needs are better met in private schools, in virtual schools or elsewhere. That is why two state lawmakers have introduced legislation to give parents debit cards, literally, to shop for the educational services that work best for their children.

    April 11, 2014

  • Israelis, Palestinians are losing their chance

    Developments in the Middle East suggest that prospects of success for the Israeli-Palestinian talks, to which Secretary of State John Kerry has devoted countless hours and trips, are weakening.

    April 11, 2014

  • Teens might trade naked selfies for mugshots

    Will teenagers ever learn? You think yours will. Maybe so. But it's likely that was also the hope of the parents of children who were so shamed by nude photos of themselves that went south - how else can they go - that they killed themselves.

    April 11, 2014

  • Tax deadline and no reform in sight

    The annual tax filing deadline, which comes next Tuesday, provides a good opportunity for tax reform advocates to decry the current law’s increasing complexity and inequities, and to urge enactment of a simpler, fairer system.

    April 10, 2014


Do you agree with a state budget proposal that takes some funds away from road and bridge projects to ramp up education funding by $29.85 million per year until schools are receiving $600 million more a year than they are now? In years in which 1 percent revenue growth does not occur in the general fund, the transfer would not take place.

     View Results