Some Oklahoma polling sites to change due to pandemic

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The coronavirus pandemic will mean big changes for some polling places like those in high-risk facilities.

“We knew we had sites that were more vulnerable. We have some retirement centers so that’s where we started,” Oklahoma County Election Board Secretary Doug Sanderson said.

The Oklahoma County Election Board started calling its 190 polling sites a few weeks ago.

So far, half a dozen say they will not be a polling site this time around.

While the county election board won’t tell us which sites those are yet, officials are working to find new locations for voters to cast their ballots.

“Schools and libraries in close proximity to polling places that we fear we’ll not be able to use,” Sanderson said.

Two bills signed by Governor Kevin Stitt this year include short term rules for voting during the pandemic.

“There’s everything from mandating social distancing procedures for polling places to requiring government buildings available just in case there’s not another option available,” Oklahoma State Election Board Secretary Paul Ziriax said.

Oklahoma County Board Secretary Doug Sanderson says those impacted by the polling site changes will be mailed a notification based on the address on their voter id card.

You can also find your polling place online through the state’s voter portal.

“It will always tell you where your polling place is,” Sanderson said.

And for those voting in-person, expect extra precautions.

“Social distancing standards, disinfection standards for in person voting that’s whether it is early voting at your county election board or your polling place on election day,” Ziriax said.

State officials also encourage voters to wear masks inside precincts.

And a reminder, the last day to register to vote for the June 30 primary is next Friday June 5.

There will be candidates for U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives and state question 802 expanding Medicaid to name a few.

For more information on voting visit Elections.ok.gov.

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