OKLAHOMA CITY - The State Election Board and Secretary Paul Ziriax offer these tips and reminders for Oklahoma voters before they head to the polls for the March 3 Presidential Preferential Primary.
Election Day Voting
Polls are open statewide from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Election Day. Lines at the polls are longest before work, during the lunch hour and after work. Voters can save time by voting during “off-peak” hours – usually from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. and 1:30 to 4:00 p.m.
Know who is on the Ballot
Both the Republican and Democratic parties will have a primary election. Fourteen candidates will appear on the Democratic primary ballot and six candidates will appear on the Republican ballot. No Libertarian candidates filed; therefore, there will not be a Libertarian primary.
Presidential candidates who have “dropped out of the race” or “suspended their campaigns,” but did not formally withdraw by the state-mandated deadline (December 6, 2020), will still appear on the ballot. Votes for these candidates will be tallied and recorded in accordance with regular election procedures.
Know What is on the Ballot
Some voters will have non-partisan issues on the ballot. Voters who are not eligible to vote in a primary election may still be able to vote on other issues. The State Election Board recommends viewing a sample ballot before heading to the polls. Sample ballots are specific to each voter and are available through the OK Voter Portal at elections.ok.gov/ovp.
Be Prepared and Know Your Polling Place
Study your ballot before going to the polls. View your sample ballot using the election board’s OK Voter Portal at elections.ok.gov/ovp. You can also use the portal to find your polling place location.
Know who can Vote in Primaries
Oklahoma has a closed primary system. In order to vote in a party’s primary, you must be a registered voter of that party. However, the law allows recognized parties to open its primaries to Independents by notifying the State Election Board. The Democratic Party is allowing Independents to vote in its primaries in 2020 and 2021. The Republican and Libertarian primaries will remain closed.
Proof of Identity
Oklahoma law requires every voter to show proof of identity before receiving a ballot. There are three ways to show proof of identity:
A valid photo ID issued by the federal, state, or tribal government, such as a driver’s license, military ID, or passport; or
A Voter ID card, which is issued to every voter by their County Election Board; or
A signed affidavit, along with a provisional ballot. (If the information on the affidavit matches official voter registration records, the ballot will be counted after Election Day.)
Voters with questions should contact their County Election Board or visit the State Election Board’s website at elections.ok.gov.
Deadline to Change Party Affiliation is March 31, 2020
Oklahomans who want to change their party affiliation before the Primary or Runoff Primary Elections later this year must do so no later than Tuesday, March 31, according to Crystal January, Secretary of the Delaware County Election Board.
Changes of political affiliation are prohibited by law during the period beginning April 1 and continuing through August 31 in even-numbered years, January said.
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 Runoff 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. The Democratic Party has given Independent voters permission to vote in their primaries and runoff primaries in 2020 and 2021. Oklahoma has three recognized political parties in 2020: Democrat, Libertarian and Republican.
All registered voters, regardless of political affiliation, can vote for any candidate at the November General Election and for state or local questions at any election.
Applications to register to vote or to change political affiliation are available at the Delaware County Election Board office, 225 S 5th St, Jay OK; most post offices; public libraries; state offices providing public assistance; and at most political party, candidate campaign offices. They can also be obtained online at www.elections.ok.gov and www.okcounties.org.
For more information contact the Delaware County Election Board at 918-253-8762 or firstname.lastname@example.org The Election Board is located at: 225 S 5th St, Jay. Office hours are 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Monday – Friday.