June 3 last day to register to vote and be eligible for June primaries

Mike ErwinJournal-Capital

The last day voter registration applications can be submitted by persons wishing to be eligible for casting a ballot in the June 28 Primary Election will be June 3, election officials said.

Osage County’s Election Board Secretary Andrea Conner said applications postmarked after June 3 will still be accepted and processed. But, she added, those applications could still not be approved until after the June 28 vote.

Republican voters in Osage County and more than 30 other northern and western state counties will have a Oklahoma’s Third U.S. Congressional District race on their primary ballots. Frank Lucas, seeking his 11th legislative term (and his eighth from District 3) drew a intra-party challenge from Desiree Brown of Hennessey, a self-declared blue-collar worker who is a cable splicer for AT&T in Enid.

A majority of Pawhuska-area Republicans will have a state representative race to contend with June 28. District 36 incumbent Sean Roberts of Hominy, seeking a fourth term, is facing Skiatook businessman Chuck Bretanus in the primary. Former Pawhuska City Council member Cathy Ross was the lone Democrat to file for the District 36 seat and will be on November’s General Election ballot.

Democrats of Osage County are tasked with deciding which of retiring Sheriff Ty Koch’s top-ranking officers — Undersheriff Lou Ann Brown or Chief Criminal Investigator Charlie Cartwright — should be voted forward to the November General Election. Koch announced earlier this year that he intended to retire when his current term expires in December. He has been with the OCSO for 25 years and began service as Sheriff since 2005.

A longtime Fairfax resident, Cartwright has more than 30 years of law enforcement experience — nearly all of it gained in Osage County. He has been with the OCSO since 1997 and had been the Jail Administator before becoming an investigator over a decade ago. Cartwright has been Chief Criminal Investigator, as well as Chief Deputy, since 2005. He also served two terms as a Fairfax town councilman, which included five years as mayor. He and his wife, Terri, also operated the Fairfax EMS and ambulance service for eight years.

Brown, of Skiatook, has been with the local sheriff’s office since 1997 and has served the past 11 years as Undersheriff. She has been active in the Osage County’s Democratic Party and involved with numerous area boards and commissions. Late last year, Brown was named by county commissioners to a specially-formed committee studying the Osage County Courthouse situation and the possibility of supplementing the county’s office space needs using buildings it already owns.

The victor of the Democratic primary for sheriff will face Republican Eddie Virden in the General Election, Virden, a Pawhuska resident, has around 25 year of law enforcement experience in Bartlesville, as well as Osage and Washington Counties.

Primary runoffs, if required, would be held Aug. 23. The 2016 general election is Tuesday, Nov. 8.

United States citizens and residents of Oklahoma who are at least 18 years old may apply to become registered voters. Persons who have never before been registered to vote, or who are not currently registered in the county of their residence, and persons who are registered but who need to change their registration information, may apply by filling out and mailing an Oklahoma Voter Registration Application form in time for it to be postmarked no later than midnight on Friday, June 3.

The County Election Board responds in writing to every person who submits an application for voter registration, according to Conner. The response is either a voter identification card listing the new voter’s precinct number and polling place location or a letter that explains the reason or reasons the application for voter registration was not approved. Conner said that any person who has submitted a voter registration application should contact the County Election Board office if they do not receive a response within 30 days.

Oklahoma Voter Registration Application forms are available at the County Election Board office, which is located at 630 Kihekah Ave. in Pawhuska. The forms also may be found at post offices, tag agencies, and public libraries in the county. Conner said the applications also are available at www.elections.ok.gov, and voters can check their registration status at http://www.ok.gov/elections/Voter_Info/Online_Voter_Tool/