BRYAN COUNTY, Okla. -- Registered voters in Bryan County who want to vote by mail absentee ballot in next Tuesday’s Presidential Preferential Primary and Annual School Elections have missed the application deadline, County Election Board Secretary Linda Fahrendorf says, but you can still cast an absentee ballot next month.
“They aren’t out of luck, however,” Fahrendorf said. Voters who want to cast absentee ballots still can do so at the County Election Board office on Friday, Feb. 1st and Feb. 4th 8-6 p.m. A two-member, bipartisan Absentee Voting Board will be on duty each day from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. to assist absentee voters.
“In-person absentee voters fill out an application form when they get to the office. They are not required to give a reason for voting absentee,” Fahrendorf said. “They are required to swear that they have not voted a regular mail absentee ballot and that they will not vote at their polling places on Election Day.”
According to Fahrendorf, the Absentee Voting Board verifies a voter’s registration information, and then issues the voter’s ballots. The voter marks the ballots in a voting booth and then puts them in the voting device. “It is very much like voting at a precinct polling place,” Fahrendorf said.
Contact the County Election Board, located at 217 N. 16th, for more information. The telephone number is 924-3228.
Bryan County Election Board Secretary Linda Fahrendorf also today advised voters to go to the polls as early as possible next Tuesday.
“The polls will be open from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. on Feb. 5 for the Annual School and Presidential Preferential Primary Election,” Fahrendorf said. “Any registered voter who is in line to vote at 7 p.m. will be able to vote.”
She said voters can expect lines at most polling places, but lines are likely to be shortest at mid-morning and mid-afternoon.
Fahrendorf encouraged voters to take their Voter Identification Cards to the polls with them. “Chances are that you won’t need your Voter Identification Card, but if there is a problem, having your card may help election officials resolve it,” Fahrendorf said.
She suggested that voters call the County election Board office before Election Day if they have any questions about their eligibility or the location of polling places.
Fahrendorf said that a valid marking—a filled in arrow-is shown on posters at the polling place and inside the voting booths. An illustration of a valid marking also is printed at the top of the ballot card. “If you have questions about how to mark your ballot to insure that it is counted correctly, ask the Precinct Officials,” Fahrendorf said.
“If you make a mistake marking your ballot, don’t try to correct it. Take the spoiled ballot back to the Precinct Officials. They will destroy it and give you a new one.”
After marking the ballot, the voter should go to the voting device and insert the ballot into the voting device.
The voting device can read the ballot regardless of the direction it is inserted—face up or down, top first or bottom first. If the voting device is unable to detect any valid marking on the ballot, or if the voting device detects too many valid markings for a single office or question, it immediately returns the ballot to the voter. It also prints a message explaining the problem. The Precinct Officials will issue a new ballot to the voter, if necessary, if either of these problems occurs.
Fahrendorf said that election law violations will be reported to the proper law enforcement authorities. “We’re going to be watching for electioneering by candidates,” she said. “It’s unlawful to electioneer within 300 feet of a ballot box.”
Fahrendorf said other election law violations include disclosing how one voted while within the election enclosure, removing a ballot from the polling place, taking a ballot into the polling place and taking intoxicating liquors within half a mile of a polling place. It is also unlawful for anyone other than voters waiting to vote and election officials to be within 50 feet of a ballot box during an election.