Voting from the safety of your own home during a pandemic seems like a simple solution, doesn’t it? On the face of it, yes, but in practice, a whole mess of problems are emerging.
Take Oklahoma, for example. Oklahoma law allows for any voter to request an absentee ballot at any time.
But, Oklahoma also requires that every absentee ballot get notarized.
Yes. Oklahoma “requires a mail-in absentee ballot to be accompanied by an affidavit notarized in person by a notary public.” (Source) You would be right to point out that having to get your absentee ballot notarized in person completely defeats the point during a pandemic.
Luckily, the League of Women Voters of Oklahoma has just filed a lawsuit to challenge that requirement while we deal with COVID-19.
To put the problem in stark relief, it’s helpful to note that on Oklahoma, only 5% of voters voted by absentee ballot in 2018. Clearly, there will be many, many more times that number of voters who will want to vote by mail this year. On top of that, no single notary is allowed to notarize more than 20 ballots in any given day. The only exception to that rule is if the notary “receives written permission from the county election board secretary.” (Source)
I’m pointing all this out because 1) if you’re a voter in Oklahoma, you should be aware of these issues, and 2) every other state will likely run into their own complications so it’s really important to learn how your state’s absentee ballot process works right now.
Follow THIS LINK to go directly to your state’s absentee/vote by mail instructions. And then share it with your friends and family in the state. Be safe. Learn how to vote by mail.
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