OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – We are less than a week away from Election Day. This year’s election unlike any other due to the coronavirus pandemic. Many voters have opted to mail in their ballot this year, however some still plan to cast their vote in person on November 3.
For those choosing the latter, here is a refresher on the do’s and don’ts of Election Day.
Just like every other year, electioneering, or advocating for or against a candidate or issue on the ballot, is not allowed. So leave your campaign gear at home.
“If you have a piece of clothing, it could be a hat, a mask, a button, a sticker or anything like that, that’s actually a crime in Oklahoma because you’re electioneering,” said Paul Ziriax, secretary of the Oklahoma State Election Board. “So leave those items at home and just bring yourself, and feel free to bring a sample ballot, if you’d like.”
Due to social distancing guidelines, voting lines may be longer than usual. So what happens if they extend beyond the poll boundaries… Is electioneering allowed?
“Well, what I can say is under the law it would be legal to electioneer if you’re 300 feet away from the ballot box or more,” said Ziriax.
But Ziriax said just because you can, does not mean you should.
“Now, it’s not proper to try to coerce anyone or intimidate anyone, and if you have something like that going on, that should be reported to election officials so we can contact law enforcement about it, because that’s illegal,” said Ziriax. “But as long as the people doing the electioneering are more than 300 feet from the ballot box, it’s actually legal, whether voters are standing there or not.”
Ziriax said he does not expect that voters will have to wait in line for hours on end, but in case they do, he recommends being prepared.
“I’m doubtful that people are going to be waiting three, four, five hours in Oklahoma, but certainly if you want to bring your own chair to sit in or if you want to bring a little snack or water that’s fine,” said Ziriax.
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