OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled on Monday that the Oklahoma State Election Board cannot ask absentee voters to have their ballots notarized.
The League of Women Voters and two Oklahomans sued the election board, saying a state law passed in 2002 did away with the notary requirement.
The lawsuit’s goal, backed by ‘Let Oklahoma Vote,’ was to make it easier for people to avoid the crowds and still vote during the pandemic.
“We are happy to make this pivot, to make sure Oklahomans can vote safely and securely,” Tatianna Cannon, with Let Oklahoma Vote, told KFOR. “We’re looking forward to the June and November elections, and we hope that people are understanding the process to register to vote absentee.”
Before the lawsuit, ‘Let Oklahoma Vote’ sent a letter to the Oklahoma State Election Board, asking it to allow voters to, under penalty of perjury, sign and verify their own ballot.
When the election board declined, the lawsuit was filed.
After reviewing the case, the Oklahoma Supreme Court decided that the election board cannot require absentee voters to have their ballots notarized.
“We just really want to be sure that is accessible, simple, clear,” Cannon said. “Like I said, we have so many important things coming up in June and November.”
The election board says it won’t have to make any changes to the actual ballots for the upcoming June election, but it will have to look at the absentee instructions and affidavit envelopes.
On the instructions, it tells absentee voters that their affidavit must be “signed by the voter, and notarized by a notary public.”
‘Let Oklahoma Vote’ says those changes should be easy to make.
“Our understanding is we aren’t going to have to use any unnecessary dollars to do any reprinting. That’s also why this initiative was timed as it was,” Cannon said. “We want to be very respectful and aware of the state’s energy and efforts that have to come together to make this happen.”
The Oklahoma Attorney General’s Office is representing the election board. We’re told the AG’s office is still reviewing the decision.
In the state of Oklahoma, anyone can vote absentee. You can request an absentee ballot here.