Whole new year for absentees

A temporary absentee ballot verification option, which was put in place by state legislators last year, has expired. 

The temporary verification option was part of Senate Bill 210, which was passed in the spring of 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The bill gave Oklahoma voters the option to include a copy of their valid ID in lieu of a notarized or witnessed signature on their absentee ballot affidavit.

Certain provisions of the bill were valid for the 2020 election year only and expired in December.

Garvin County Election Board Secretary Gayla Dean said voters who request absentee ballots in 2021 will receive updated absentee ballot instructions with their balloting material and should read them thoroughly before placing their ballot in the mail.

According to Dean, “standard” absentee ballot affidavits are required to be notarized.

“Physically incapacitated” absentee ballot affidavits must have the voter’s signature witnessed by two people.

“In other words, voters will submit their absentee ballots the same way they did prior to Senate Bill 210. As always, we recommend voters allow themselves plenty of time to receive, vote and return their ballots,” said Dean.

Voters can request absentee ballots online using the OK Voter Portal on the State Election Board website at https://oklahoma.gov/elections/ovp.html or pick up an application from the county election board.

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A school board election in Lindsay is now set for Feb. 9.

The deadline to request an absentee ballot for the vote is 5 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 2. For more information contact the Garvin County Election Board.

The trio of candidates running for one office on the Lindsay Board of Education are Landon Webb, Jim Beckham and Julie Martin.

Two other school board races are set to come on April 6.

Derek Stanley and Casen Lauderdale are the two candidates going for a five-year term in Elmore City.

The two school candidates running for a five-year office on the Paoli board are Jeffry Thompson II and Gus Adkins.

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