Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

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May 1, 2014

Voter ID a must for elections

bporterfield@pvdemocrat.com — With a big election season on the way this year Garvin County election officials are reminding residents of the importance of their voter registration information being up to date and current.

One reason for that is the fact a voter ID law approved back in 2010 is still in place and being enforced for any and all elections.

Leading the push to remind voters about the law is Doylene Cunningham, Garvin County’s election board secretary, and Gayla Dean, the chief clerk in the office located in the county courthouse in Pauls Valley.

“Voters need to remember the new voter ID law is still in place,” Dean said.

“Proof of ID must be shown before a person can vote.”

Cunningham says the proof of identification applies to voters casting ballots on election day or when they take part in the early in-person absentee voting at the Election Board office.

The law itself was approved by 74 percent of Oklahoma voters on Nov. 2, 2010. It went into effect the following July.

According to Cunningham, the law is very specific about the kind of document that can be used for proof of identification.

It includes any item issued by the federal government, the state of Oklahoma or a federally recognized tribal government.

The document must show the name of the person, a photograph of the person and must include an expiration date that is after the election date.

The law also states the person’s name on a document used for proof of identity for voting must “substantially conform” to the person’s name in the precinct registry.

Some examples are an Oklahoma driver’s license, a state ID card, passport or a military identification.

By law state ID cards issued to individuals 65 years old or older do not have expiration dates but are valid proof of identity for voting.

Election officials here stress that by far the best way to go for any election is the voter ID card issued by the Election Board.

With that card in hand nothing else is needed for a voter to go through the process smoothly, get a ballot marked quickly and away they go with the rest of their day.

“People make the mistake of bringing both a voter ID card and a photo ID,” Dean said.

“You just need one and the best one to bring is your voter ID card,” she said. “That really speeds up the voting process.

“Everything has to have a photo other than the voter ID card issued from this office.”

Those voter ID cards and replacements if needed are free.

They remind voters to get their voter registration updated if needed as soon as possible.

“If your registration is not current you may show up at the wrong precinct,” Dean said.

“We don’t want people to get a surprise on election day.”

To check voter registration go online to www.ok.gov/elections/ppl/index.php and enter the information requested.

Voters can also check the information at the Election Board office here.

A voter who wants to change any information must fill out and mail a new Oklahoma Voter Registration Application form. These forms also available at the Oklahoma Election Board web site online or at tag agencies.

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