Over 1,300 absentee ballots processed as voter deadlines approach

September 28, 2020 | Headlines

NEWKIRK — The deadline to request an absentee ballot is Oct. 27.

On Friday Kay County Election Board assistant secretary Carol Leaming said the office has received and processed 1,350 applications.

“We usually do close to a 1,000 requests for a presidential election,” said Leaming. That is pretty high considering there is still another month left to request one.”

Absentee ballots can be requested online at https://www.ok.gov/elections/Voter_Info/Absentee_Voting/

Leaming said voters can return their absentee ballots back to the office in person before Election Day as long as it was not requested based upon a physically incapacitated request.

On Aug. 18, Election Board Secretary Cheryl Howard explained that ballots must be notarized.

“Absentee ballots, when returned, must be notarized or have a copy of the voter’s identification card attached,” said Howard. “Absentee ballots must also be signed by the voter and dated by Nov. 3. Voters can return a standard absentee ballot to the election board in person by the close of business on Nov. 2. Voters can not return someone else’s ballot, such as a spouse or neighbor. Voters who obtain an absentee ballot because they are incapacitated, must return their ballot by mail.”

Leaming explained that ballots returned by mail or in person before Election Day will not be counted until election day.

“They are placed in a locked box until Election Day,” said Leaming. “Voters who request an absentee ballot will have their name marked on the voter rolls so that they can not vote at their polling place, unless they sign a sworn statement saying that they did not vote absentee,” said Leaming. “If a voter is found to have casted two ballots, their name will be given to the District Attorney’s office.”

Another deadline looming is Oct. 9. That is the last day residents can register to vote and be eligible to vote in the Nov. 3 election or make changes to their registration.

Sample ballots can be picked up at the election board.

In addition to the elections, the following two state questions are on the ballot. For more information voting contact the election board at 580-362-2130.

STATE QUESTION NO. 805,INITIATIVE PETITION NO. 421

This measure seeks to add a new Article II-A to the Oklahoma Constitution. This new Article excepts and does not apply to persons who have ever been convicted of a violent felony. It would prohibit the use of a former felony conviction to increase the statutorily allowable base range of punishment for a person subsequently convicted of a felony. Individuals who are currently incarcerated for felony sentences that were enhanced based on one or more former felony convictions, and whose sentences are greater than the maximum sentence that may currently be imposed for such felonies, may seek sentence modification in court. The new Article sets forth a detailed process for such sentence modification, including but not limited to requirements for a hearing, appointment of counsel for indigent petitioners, and notification of victims, and requires that the court impose a modified sentence no greater than the current maximum sentence which may be imposed on a person convicted of the same felony with no former felony convictions, and which results in no greater time served in prison than under the original sentence. It establishes an appeal procedure, provides an effective date, and contains a severability clause.

Learn more about this State Question (Documentation from the Secretary of State’s website): https://www.sos.ok.gov/documents/questions/805.pdf

Read the Governor’s executive proclamation: https://www.sos.ok.gov/documents/filelog/93641.pdf

STATE QUESTION NO. 814, LEGISLATIVE REFERENDUM NO. 375

This measure seeks to amend Article 10, Section 40 of the Oklahoma Constitution (Section 40), which directs proceeds from the State’s settlements with or judgments against tobacco companies. Currently, Section 40 directs 75% of proceeds to the Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust Fund (TSET Fund), where earnings may only be used for tobacco prevention programs, cancer research, and other such programs to maintain or improve the health of Oklahomans. Meanwhile, the remaining 25% of proceeds are directed to a separate fund for the Legislature (Legislative Fund). The Legislature can also direct some of that 25% to the Attorney General. This measure amends Section 40 to reduce the percentage of proceeds that go into the TSET Fund from 75% to 25%. As a result, the remaining 75% will go to the Legislative Fund and the Legislature may continue to direct a portion to the Attorney General. The measure would also restrict the use of the Legislative Fund. Section 40 currently states only that the Legislative Fund is subject to legislative appropriation. If this measure passes, money from the Legislative Fund must be used to get federal matching funds for Oklahoma’s Medicaid Program.

Learn more about this State Question (Documentation from the Secretary of State’s website):  https://www.sos.ok.gov/documents/questions/814.pdf

Read the Governor’s executive proclamation: https://www.sos.ok.gov/documents/filelog/93642.pdf

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