PREPARING FOR THE POLLS: Helpful information for Oklahoma voters

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Many Oklahomans have been active this election, both by absentee voting as well as in-person early voting, which started Thursday, October 29. For those preparing to cast their vote, here is what you should know before you head to the polls.

First, it is important to know what you are voting for. You can find sample ballots of what you are eligible to vote for by logging on to the OK Voter Portal on the Oklahoma State Election Board website. There you can review the ballots prior, to give yourself enough time to make an informed decision. 

While you are in the OK Voter Portal, make sure to look up your polling place so you will know where to go to cast your vote. 

County election boards are taking extra precautions this year to help keep you safe while you are voting. Poll workers will be wiping down voting equipment with alcohol wipes every hour. If the Audio Tactile Interface device is used, it will be disinfected immediately, as well the earphone covers be discarded. 

Per the Oklahoma State Election Board website, the county election boards have adopted a new voting protocol this year to further increase safety measures. When a voter is called forward, the voter will be asked to place their ID on the table to be inspected by a judge, who should avoid touching the voter’s ID. After the voter’s ID is determined to be valid, the voter will sign the precinct registry. The judge then lets the clerk know which ballot the voter should receive. The clerk, while avoiding any physical contact with the voter, then tears off the ballot and the voter will be asked to pick it up from the table. The voter is then able to visit the voting booth. Afterward, the next voter can then be processed.

The county election boards are also asking voters to take some precautions as well, such as maintaining a six foot distance from others. Voters are also encouraged to wear a mask, covering both the nose and mouth. 

Secretary of the Oklahoma State Election Board, Paul Ziriax, said there has been a spread of misinformation this election, but do not let it prevent you from making your voice heard. 

“I would really urge voters to be cautious about what you see and hear, whether it’s online, even potentially in your mailbox,” said Ziriax. “When you hear people saying things like, ‘it’s too hard to vote’ or ‘gosh, the lines might be long. Why would I want to do that?’ Don’t let anyone ever discourage you from voting.”

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