By Local Report
Thursday, 06 July 2006
Voters in Tulsa County who want to have absentee ballots mailed for the July 25 State and County Primary Election should apply now said Election Board Secretary Gene Pace. Although the County Election Board can accept applications for absentee ballots until 5 p.m. on Wednesday, July 19, he urged voters who want to vote by absentee ballot to apply early. Absentee ballot application forms are available at the County Election Board office located at 555 N. Denver. A letter may be mailed or faxed requesting a ballot, or a form letter may be downloaded from the Tulsa County Election Board Webpage (www.tulsacounty.org, click Departments/Divisions, click Election Board).
"To apply for absentee ballots at least two mail transactions must be made," Pace said. "The County Election Board must mail the ballots to the voter, and the voter must return the voted ballots by mail." Ballots must be in the hands of the County Election Board by 7 p.m. on Election Day in order to be counted.
Pace said that any registered voter may vote by absentee ballot in any election in which he or she is eligible to vote. A voter must be registered and reside at an address within the geographical boundaries of the district to be eligible to vote. It is not necessary to give a reason—or excuse—for voting absentee.
"While anyone can vote absentee without giving a reason, the law still provides several excuses and it is to the advantage of some voters to use one of them," Pace said. By stating one of the following reasons on their applications, these voters can activate some special conditions that make it easier for them to use absentee ballots. The reasons are:
–Voters who are physically incapacitated and voters who care for physically incapacitated persons who cannot be left unattended may vote absentee. They may apply only by mail, by fax, or by telegraph.
–Voters who are confined to nursing homes in the county may vote absentee. An Absentee Voting Board actually goes to the nursing home a few days before the election, sets up a small polling place and allows these persons to vote under circumstances similar to those at a regular precinct polling place. They may apply only by mail or by fax.
–Military personnel and residents of the county living overseas and the spouses and dependents of each group are eligible to vote absentee without being registered. These voters may apply only by mail or by fax. Military personnel should contact the Voting Service Officers in their units for application forms and additional information. Residents of Oklahoma living overseas can obtain the same materials from any United States military installation and from United States Embassies and Consulates.
Pace said that persons wishing to fax their absentee ballot request should fax to (918) 596-4536. He said that due to multiple transmissions on the fax machine, it is always a good idea to call the County Election Board Absentee Department voice mailbox at (918) 596-8833 or the Absentee Department at 596-5767 to verify that the fax was received.
Pace said In-person absentee voting will also be available at the Tulsa County Election Board located at 555 N. Denver on Friday, July 21, and Monday, July 24, from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and on Saturday, July 22 from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. For additional information regarding absentee voting, please contact the Tulsa County Election Board Absentee Department at 596-5767.
Last Updated ( Thursday, 06 July 2006 )