Voters in Osage County who want to have absentee ballots mailed to them for the Nov. 14 city of Barnsdall special election should apply now, County Election Board Secretary Andrea Conner said.

Although the County Election Board can accept applications for absentee ballots until 5 p.m. Nov. 8, Conner urged voters who want to vote by absentee ballot to apply early.

Absentee ballot application forms are available at the County Election Board office, 630 Kihekah Ave, Pawhuska. An online version of the form can be filled out and submitted electronically at: www.elections.ok.gov. A print form can also be downloaded at that address.

Voters who have requested an absentee ballot can track their ballot at http://www.ok.gov/elections/Voter_Info/Online_Voter_Tool/.

Ballots must be in the hands of County Election Board officials by 7 p.m. on Election Day to be counted.

Conner said any registered voter may vote by absentee ballot in any election in which he/she is eligible to vote. However, a voter must be registered and reside at an address within the geographical boundaries of the city of Barnsdall to be eligible to vote in th election. It is not necessary to give a reason for voting absentee.

“While anyone can vote absentee without giving a reason, the law still provides several excuses and it is to the advantage of some voters to use on of them,” Conner said.

By stating one of the following reasons on their applications, absentee voters can activate special conditions that make it easier for them to use absentee ballots. The reasons are:

Voters who are physically incapacitated and voters who care for physically incapacitated persons who cannot be left unattended may vote absentee. They may apply only by mail, by fax, by email, online by accessing http://www.ok.gov/elections/Voter_Info/Online_Voter_Tool/ or via an agent who is at least 16 years of age and who is not employed by or related within the third degree of consanguinity or affinity to any person whose name appears on the ballot.

Voters who are confined to nursing homes in the county may vote absentee. An Absentee Voting Board actually goes to the nursing home a few days before the election, sets up a small polling place and allows these persons to vote under circumstances similar to those at a regular precinct polling place. They may apply only by mail, by fax, by email, online by accessing http://www.ok.gov/elections/Voter_Info/Online_Voter_Tool/ or via an agent who is at least 16 years of age and who is not employed by or related within the third degree of consanguinity or affinity to any person whose name appears on the ballot.

Military personnel and residents of the county living overseas and the spouses and dependents of each group are eligible receive absentee ballots. These voters may apply only by mail, fax, or by email. Military personnel should contact the Voting Service Officers in their units for application forms and additional information or visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program website (www.fvap.gov/oklahoma) for more information and instructions. Residents of Oklahoma living overseas can obtain the same materials from any United States military installation and from United States Embassies and Consulates as well as on the FVAP website.

Sample ballots are now available on the Oklahoma State Election Board’s Online Voter Tool at http://www.ok.gov/elections/Voter_Info/Online_Voter_Tool/ or at www.osage.okcounties.org for voters who want to get a preview of what will be at stake in the November 14, 2017, City of Barnsdall Special Election. Sample ballots are also available at the Osage County Election Board office. Andrea Conner, Secretary of the Osage County Election Board, said that sample ballots can be viewed at the Election Board office, located at 630 Kihekah Ave. in Pawhuska, during regular office hours, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Sample ballots also will be posted outside the precinct polling place on Tuesday so that voters can review them before casting their votes.

For more election-related information, call the Osage County Election Board at (918) 287-3036, e-mail at oceb@sbcglobal.net or visit www.elections.ok.gov or www.osage.okcounties.org