OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – “It used to be simple for me because I worked in a place where there was a notary but I’m currently on furlough, so I would not have had easy access to a notary,” said Oklahoma voter Ann Young.
Due to COVID-19, Young chose to vote absentee this go-around.
She’s far from alone; the Oklahoma State Election Board says this year they sent out over 141,000 absentee ballots.
“Compare that to the primary for the 2016 presidential primary, 15,000 ballots, so we’re talking about a tenfold increase,” said spokesman for the League of Women Voters of Oklahoma, Brian Davis.
Davis and his wife have been set up for the past month at the League of Women Voter’s office in OKC, working three days a week to help notarize ballots and print photocopies of voter ID’s – a requirement put in place by our state legislature.
It’s something that’s become tougher to do by the pandemic.
Davis says many are not able to leave their homes, and they lack access to a printer.
“When the requirement is that they have to leave their house and go somewhere to either get a photo copy or get a ballot notarized, that just adds a whole other layer, you know, for some people it’s really difficult,” said Young.
“That’s one of the reasons why we’re trying to help out – to knock down those barriers because if the state is going to insist on this we want to give people a place to go,” added Davis.
To help, the Davis’ have been at a desk for 12 hours a day.
“We basically think that everybody who’s got the right to vote should vote every time in every election. We know that’s not the case, but again in terms of what we’re trying to do here is knock down some of those barriers so that it’s easier for people to get out and vote,” said Davis.
They expect numbers to rise, and they’ll continue to help before the November election.
“It’s just what we do. It’s what we believe in,” said Davis.
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