Pott. County absentee ballot applications increase

Elisabeth Slay
The Shawnee News-Star

While the Presidential Election is Tuesday, Nov. 3, the Pottawatomie County Election Board has already received a record number of absentee ballot applications weeks before the election and application deadline. 

According to County Election Board Secretary Jeannie Stover, as of Thursday, Oct. 8 voters submitted 5015 absentee ballot applications. 

Stover said the deadline to submit an absentee ballot application is Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020 and the County Election Board expects to receive even more.

Stover said the deadline to register to vote is Oct. 9, but many people are electing to submit an absentee ballot due to COVID-19 concerns. 

According to County Election Board Assistant Secretary Patricia Carter, compared to the last Primary Election on Nov. 16, 2018, where 2,011 applications were submitted, and the last Presidential Election on Nov. 8, 2016, where 1,719 applications were submitted, Carter said this election has the highest number of absentee ballot applications yet. 

Carter said all safety protocols and policies put in place to protect people from COVID-19 still apply to the Nov. 3 election. 

According to the Oklahoma State Election Board, these policies for in person voting include social distancing, the requirement of masks or face coverings and provided Personal Protective Equipment for poll workers. 

Carter said absentee ballot application forms are available at the County Election Board office located at 14101 Acme Road, Shawnee, or voters can apply online at www.elections.ok.gov or print off and mail their applications.

Stover said ballots must be in the hands of the Election Board officials by 7 p.m. on Election Day to be counted. 

For more information regarding absentee ballots, voting and COVID-19 protocols visit www.ok.gov/elections/.

Check back for updates.