Absentee ballots available

Eligible voters who want to have absentee ballots mailed to them for the City of Tulsa General Elections which will be held November 8, 2011, should apply now, County Election Board Secretary Patty Bryant said Thursday.

Elections are for Council Districts 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8 and 9 and the 4 Special Questions, (one brought by the City of Tulsa as a Charter Change Amendment; three brought by the citizenry of Tulsa as Initiative Petitions),  

Although the County Election Board can accept applications for absentee ballots until 5 p.m. on Wednesday, November 2, Bryant 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 click here for page.

"At least two mail transactions must be made," Bryant 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.

Bryant said that any registered voter may vote by absentee ballot in any election in which he or she is eligible to vote.  However, 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 absentee voting.  "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," Bryant said.  By stating one of the following reasons on their application, 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.  Military personnel and overseas citizens also can download and print an application form from the Internet at www.fvap.gov.

Bryant said that persons wishing to fax their absentee ballot request should fax to (918) 596-4536.  For questions or concerns regarding absentee voting in Tulsa County, contact the Tulsa County Election Board Absentee Department at (918)596-5767 between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. or after hours contact the absentee voice mailbox at (918)596-8833. 

Bryant said in-person absentee voting will also be available at the Tulsa County Election Board located at 555 N. Denver on Friday, November 4 and Monday, November 7, from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.  For additional information regarding early in-person absentee voting, please contact the Tulsa County Election Board Absentee Department at (918)596-5767.