Tulsan County residents who have requested an absentee ballot for the Nov. 3 election can expect to receive their ballots in the mail within the next two weeks if they haven’t already.
Election Board Secretary Gwen Freeman said that as of Thursday her office had sent out approximately 20,000 ballots, with another 31,000 to be mailed to voters on or before Oct. 2.
The 51,000 requests for absentee ballots are by far the most the Election Board has ever received, and Freeman expects that number to grow considerably before the Oct. 27 deadline for requesting a ballot.
“At this time we are averaging 400 to 500 new requests a day, and we expect that to increase as we get closer to the deadline,” Freeman said.
The Election Board sent out a record 30,737 absentee ballots for the June elections, with 22,005 returned. For the 2016 presidential election, the Election Board sent out 20,936 absentee ballots and received back 16,508.
Freeman said this year the Election Board could end up sending out 100,000.
“Because of the volume of absentee ballots requested, not everyone’s ballot will be mailed out at the same time, so please be patient and allow time for your ballot to reach you before you call the Election Board,” she said.
Absentee ballot applications can be picked up at the Tulsa County Election Board, 555 N. Denver Ave., or online at elections.ok.gov. Ballots can also be requested by phone by calling 918-596-5780.
Completed absentee ballots that are returned by mail must arrive at the Election Board by Election Day. Ballots that arrive at the Election Board after Nov. 3 will not be counted.
Freeman said Election Board workers make a final run to the post office just before 7 p.m. on Election Day to get all that are there at that time, but she encouraged voters not to wait until the last minute to mail their ballots.
“The post office is recommending mailing your ballot back at least a week prior to Election Day,” Freeman said. “We are urging people to mail them back to us as soon as they get them to avoid processing delays on our end.”
Freeman also suggested that voters place two stamps on the return envelope to ensure proper postage.
Early in-person voting for the Nov. 3 election will be held at ONEOK Field from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Oct. 29 and 30 and from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 31.
Absentee ballots cannot be dropped off at ONEOK Field, but they can be dropped off at the Election Board from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday through Nov. 2.
The deadline to register to vote in the Nov. 3 election is Oct. 9. Registration can be done in person at the Election Board. Registration forms can be picked up at local libraries and tag agencies and online at elections.ok.gov.
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