Voting may or may not be a right, at least in this new age of the coronavirus threat, as uncertainty now hangs over three elections scheduled for next month in Garvin County.
In fact, all but three counties in Oklahoma had elections set for April 7, all of which are not threatened by a COVID-19 outbreak that's shut down schools and just about everything else in the state and country.
In this county the date includes planned school votes for the Elmore City-Pernell and Stratford districts and a city council race in Lindsay.
Now it appears it will be up to school and municipal officials in each town to decide whether to keep the elections on April 7 or formally ask for them to be postponed until a later time.
“It's going to be the entities' choice whether or not they want to request for their elections to be rescheduled,” said Gayla Dean of the Garvin County Election Board.
Earlier this week Oklahoma State Election Board Secretary Paul Ziriax declared an election emergency for anything already on the April 7 ballot.
The declaration requires county election boards to accept resolutions asking for the elections to be postponed, possibly to the primary election date of June 30.
Those resolutions must come from the school districts and municipalities calling for the election.
The deadline to submit the resolutions is March 30.
“We are in uncharted waters here, so I am hopeful we have found a sensible solution that is consistent with the spirit of the law and avoids bureaucratic overreach by state election officials,” Ziriax said.
“As Oklahoma’s chief election official, I strongly urge school districts, municipalities, technology districts and counties with April 7 elections to take immediate action to reschedule and help efforts to flatten the COVID-19 curve.”
One race here is between Reneé Barber and Carl Stevens for a school board office in the Elmore City-Pernell district.
Another is a $620,000 school bond issue in Stratford with a variety of items, such as new elementary gym flooring, repairs to an ag building and show barn, press boxes at the softball and baseball fields, drainage improvements to the backstop and seating area at the baseball field, heat and air upgrades at the elementary school, a new school vehicle and ag truck and a new phone system.
In Lindsay there is a total of 10 candidates listed on the ballot for a vote to fill three city council offices.
Those candidates are Devin Herrod, Randy Hugo, Greg Henderson, Brad Smith, Lynn Scruggs, Kassi Turner, Eric Dodson, Robin Staggs, Shelly Stevens and Debbie Whitehead.
As things stand now officials are planning to still hold a three-day filing period on April 8-10.
Any races coming from this filing will be on the ballot for the primaries on June 30 or the general election in November.
Dean said all candidates interested in filing to run for a county office will have access to the election board office located on the ground floor of the Garvin County Courthouse.
The four county offices included in this filing are now occupied by Sheriff Jim Mullett, District 2 Commissioner Gary Ayres, Court Clerk Laura Lee and County Clerk Lori Fulks.