How to Register to Vote in Oklahoma?
President Lyndon B Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act of 1965 which prohibits racial discrimination in voting. It was signed during the height of the Civil Rights Movement, and it was amended five times to expand its protections. John Lewis once said, ‘Too many people struggled, suffered, and died to make it possible for every American to exercise their right to vote.’ Though voting is voluntary, it is the duty of every citizen to vote.
Eligibility to vote in Oklahoma
To be eligible to vote in Oklahoma, the applicant must meet the below requirements.
- The applicant should be 18 years or older on the day of voting
- Should be an Oklahoma resident
- Should be a citizen of the United States of America
- The applicant should not be determined incapacitated
- Should not be determined partially incapacitated with probation on voting
- Should have completed the term of judgment after a felony conviction. This does not apply if the applicant has been pardoned.
Registering to vote in Oklahoma
To start the process, the applicant has to fill the Oklahoma Voter Registration Form which is available on the Oklahoma State Election Board website. The applicant can either download it from the website or collect one from the local tag agent. The applicant has to give information such as name and address, political affiliation, date of birth and driver's license number. If the applicant does not possess a driver’s license, the social security number has to be submitted.
The Oklahoma Voter Registration Form has an oath which the applicant has to sign and date, swearing that they are eligible to vote. The application is sent to the State Election Board for approval.
Voter identification card in Oklahoma
The State Election Board has to approve the application for any voter applicant to register to vote in Oklahoma. Once approved, the applicant will receive a voter identification card by mail. The voter identification card will have the applicant name, address, political affiliation, and the polling place for the voting district. The State Election Board has to be informed of any corrections needed in the voter identification card. The applicant must receive the voter registration card at least 24 days before the election. Applications received during the 24 days are processed post the election day.
Absentee voting - Military and overseas registration
The following are permitted to vote ‘absentee’ in Oklahoma.
- Member of the U.S. military and their spouse/dependent
- Merchant Marine and/or their spouse/dependent
- S. citizens living or working outside the country
To register as an absentee voter, an absentee ballot can be requested using the Voter Registration and Absentee Ballot Request Federal Post Card Application. The applicant can either use the Federal Voting Assistance Program online assistance or download the form and fill it by hand.
Absentee voting – out of state citizen
Anyone can apply to vote absentee whether they are out of state on Election Day or not. Out of state citizens can register to vote using the mail-in application or online in Oklahoma. The online absentee application as well as mail-in absentee application deadline for out of state absentee voting is 5 p.m. on the Wednesday before Election Day. Mail-in applications received post deadline is not accepted.
Canceled or inactive voter registration in Oklahoma
For the below-mentioned reasons, the local election board can cancel or mark inactive a voter’s registration.
- In case of the voter’s death
- If a voter is convicted of a felony
- If the voter is legally determined to be incapacitated.
- If the voter is registered elsewhere
- If the voter does not return the Voter Address Confirmation notice received, within 60 days
A voter can cancel the registration by sending a legal notarized written notice to the county election board.
In the words of Michelle Obama, “Elections aren't just about who votes but who doesn't vote.”