TULSA - Tuesday, Oklahomans will head to the polls for the primary elections.
A number of high-stakes offices are up for grabs, and several will be decided not in the general election, but in the primary, either because someone didn't file to run in both parties (e.g. the Tulsa County District Attorney Race) or because one party has a decided advantage in the general election (e.g. the U.S. Senate race).
Candidates at all levels, local state and federal, urge voters to turn out and let their voices be heard.
Many believe a high turnout will favor their efforts, but several said no matter what happens in their individual races, the most important thing is that people participate.
One candidate pointed out that in a recent election in Afghanistan, despite dozens of murders intended to intimidate people and keep them from voting, 60% of the electorate turned out.
In the United States, where the biggest obstacle might be finding a parking place near the door of the precinct, primary elections in non-presidential years rarely see more than 25% of voters turn up to cast a ballot.
For all the information you need to vote in Oklahoma Tuesday, check out the State Election Board's online voter tool.
Voting advice from the Oklahoma Election Board:
Study the candidates and issues before going to the polls. Look at your sample ballot using the election board’s Online Voter Tool at www.elections.ok.gov. You can also use the tool to check your polling place and track the status of your absentee ballot.
ELECTION DAY VOTING
Polls are open statewide from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on election day. Lines at the polls are longest before work, during the lunch hour, and after work.
VOTE DURING OFF-PEAK HOURS
Voters can save time by voting during “off-peak” hours – usually from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Voting will go faster if you make personal notes about how you plan to vote – and take those notes with you to the polls. (Remember: you can only use these notes yourself. It is against the law to share your notes with other voters.)
Give yourself plenty of time to vote on Election Day, and plan for long lines if voter turnout is heavy – especially in heavily populated areas and during peak voting hours.
Oklahoma has closed primaries. Only registered Republicans may vote in the Republican
Primary and only registered Democrats may vote in the Democratic Primary. Registered
Independents cannot vote in the party Primaries, but can vote in non-partisan local elections on
the ballot at their precinct. Find out what (if anything) is on the ballot in your precinct by
contacting your County Election Board.
PROOF OF IDENTITY
Oklahoma law requires every voter who votes in person at the precinct polling place or during early voting at the County Election Board to show proof of identity before receiving a ballot.
There are three ways for voters to prove their identity under the law (only one proof of identity is required):
- Show a valid photo ID issued by the federal, state, or tribal government; or
- Show the free voter identification card issued to every voter by their County Election Board; or
- Sign an affidavit and vote a provisional ballot. (If the information on the affidavit matches official voter registration records, the ballot will be counted after Election Day.)