Requests for absentee ballots skyrocket

Voters who plan to cast their votes in the Nov. 3 General Election by absentee ballot should begin receiving them in the mail this week.
Wanda Armold, the election board secretary, said absentee ballots for military personnel were mailed out last week. Those for the general public will begin going out this week.
As of last Wednesday, more than 9,500 people had requested mail-in ballots, Armold said.
Armold said there were 84,578 voters in Canadian County as of Sept. 1, and those numbers have continued to climb.
In the 2016 presidential election, 5,682 people voted by absentee ballot.
Armold said voters don’t need a reason to vote with an absentee ballot, but many are voicing concerns about COVID-19.
She said the main concern is that voters return their ballots by election day.
Those who are incapacitated can return their ballots by mail, while those who are not incapacitated can return their ballots in person to the election board until Nov. 2, or by mail by Nov. 3.
Armold said more than 40,000 of the county’s voters are Oklahoma City residents, who will not only vote on state and federal offices, but also nine charter changes.
She said her office is receiving between 50 and 200 applications for absentee ballots per day.
“It’s a high number,” she said.
As far as concerns about voter fraud, she doesn’t expect a problem based on Okla-homa law, which requires voters to fill out an affidavit, have witnesses or provide a copy of their identification.
She also pointed out the ballots will be returned in a green envelope that is included with the ballot so the postal service will be aware that it is a ballot.
One concern Armold did mention was the possibility of people changing their name or address and not making that change on their voter registration.
“We have seen a significant increase in the number of voters registering,” she said.
More than 1,000 new voter registration cards were mailed last week, she said.
The deadline to register is Oct. 9.
Armold said as of Sept. 1, there are 19,062 registered Democrats; 51,598 Republicans; 640 Libertarians and 13,278 Independents.

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