One of the best ways to prepare for an upcoming election is to look ahead to see who is on the ballot.

Registered voters now have access to sample ballots by logging on to okvoterportal.okelections.us/. At that point, you need to put in your name and date of birth, and the ballot applicable to you will come up.

We’ve been through a grueling series of primary elections, but this is the first time all registered voters of all parties and independents will see who is on the final mid-term general election ballot.

Many of these names may be unfamiliar to you. However, we encourage all voters to look at the options before them in order to make an informed choice about who will best represent their community and their values on the state and federal levels.

There are some big issues on the ballot. Many of the candidates represent varying ideologies that voters need to make themselves aware of.

Public education is very much on the ballot this year. Many candidates have been vocal about their ideologies regarding public education, vouchers or scholarship programs that put tax money into private schools, curriculum, school library policies, etc. Take some time to particularly review candidates for governor, state superintendent for public instruction and local representative or senate candidates for their platforms regarding education.

Issues impacting women and families also are on the ballot. Look at the candidates for governor, state House and Senate races and U.S. House and Senate races regarding where candidates stand on policies regarding public services for vulnerable women, families and children, particularly in the wake of the overturning of Roe v. Wade and the new restrictions on abortion access in Oklahoma.

The economy is on the ballot. Review candidates for their ideas on government spending, fighting inflation and energy policies.

Researching and reviewing the candidates and their positions may take a few hours, but it’s time well spent in order to choose the candidates who best reflect the values and needs of our state.

Oct. 24 is the last day to request an absentee ballot for this election. Early voting starts on Nov. 2. The regular election day is Tuesday, Nov. 8.

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