Oklahomans who want to change their party affiliation before the primary or run-off primary election later this year, must do so no later than Saturday, March 31.

Changes of political affiliation are prohibited by law during the period beginning April 1 and continuing through Aug. 31 in even-numbered years, according to Dixie Smith, Delaware County Election Board secretary.

The change in voter party affiliation form must be submitted, postmarked by Saturday, March 31, or presented in person by Thursday, March 29, at the Delaware County Election Board office in Jay.

Smith said the office will not be open on Friday, as Good Friday is considered a county holiday, and all county offices will be closed.

About Party Registration

Delaware County voters can register for one of the three recognized parties within the Oklahoma - Republican, Democrat or Libertarian, or chose to register as an Independent.

The Democratic Party has given Independent voters permission to vote in their primaries and runoff primaries in 2018 and 2019, according to Smith.

The move to limit party changes, Smith said, comes before the April filing period and lasts through the primary and run-off primary seasons.

The primary season

During the filing period, each political party can nominate one candidate per office for the November general election.

If two or more candidates from the same party file for one office, the party nominee is selected at either the primary or run-off primary election.

Only voters registered in a political party can vote to select that party's nominees unless the party gives Independent voters permission to vote in its primaries.

This year, the statewide candidate filing period begins at 8 a.m. Wednesday, April 11, and takes place from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, April 11, 12 and 13.

The deadline for filing as a candidate is 5 p.m. Friday, April 13, Smith said.

Candidates for state offices file with the Secretary of the State Election Board in Oklahoma City. Candidates for county offices file with the Secretary of the County Election Board.

The following county offices will be up for re-election this year:

County Assessor

County Treasurer

County Commissioner No. 1

County Commissioner No. 3

General Election

Once candidates are determined, either during the primary or primary run-off elections, the respective party candidates will face off during the November 2018 general election.

All registered voters, regardless of political affiliation, may vote for any candidate during the November general election and for any  state or local questions.

More information

Applications to register to vote or to change political affiliation are available at the Delaware County Election Board office, 225 South Fifth Street, Jay; most post offices; public libraries; state offices providing public assistance; and at most political party, candidate campaign offices. Forms may also be obtained online at www.elections.ok.gov and www.okcounties.org.

For more election-related information, persons interested may contact the County Election Board at 918-253-8762. Declaration of Candidacy forms are also available at www.elections.ok.gov