Oklahoma man’s mistake kept him from early voting

OKLAHOMA CITY - The first day of early voting is in the books, but one man's mistake kept him from casting his vote at the polls.

Now, officials want to make sure the same thing doesn't happen to you.

Oklahoma State Election Board officials say you have to vote at least once every four years and keep your information updated in order to vote.

As a way to ensure accurate voter rolls, Oklahoma authorities will send a notice through mail to confirm that the registered voter still lives there.  If they receive no response, a voter's status could be changed to inactive.

"It's right at the top of the page," said Paul Ziriax, secretary of the Oklahoma State Election Board. "You can use that to confirm that you're registered to vote. You can find your election day polling place."

However, Keath Korper didn't do that and he paid the price.

"I thought with me being registered, even though I had moved that I could still go back to my original place I registered, my polling place," said Korper.

In fact, 1993 was the last time Korper cast his vote in an election. Even though he had a voting card, his status was listed as inactive.

Korper says he didn't feel passionate about issues in the past, but felt this was the time to get involved.

"I just didn't see a need," said Korper. "I didn't feel as strongly about any of the issues."

Ziriax hopes all eligible voters will use this as a lesson.

"Oklahoma is required by both state and federal law to maintain accurate voter registration laws," said Ziriax. "Part of that is the address confirmation process so the state law provides a number of triggers that require people to send an address confirmation. That`s just like a notice that says, 'Hey, are you still here at this address?'"

Korper says he thinks the letter was thrown away by accident in the middle of moving.

"If you don't reply to the notice, that doesn't remove you from the voter roles," said Ziriax. "It just designates you as inactive."

Once a voter is listed as inactive, organizers say they will need to update their voter registration or contact the election board to be reverted back to active status.

Korper says he will be better prepared next time.

"If you don`t vote, you don`t have a voice. Plain and simple," he said.

If you have any questions or concerns about your voting status for the next election, go to the Oklahoma State Election Board's website.