AROUND THE COUNTY

Staff Writer
Pawhuska Journal-Capital

PAWHUSKA BLOCK PARTY

Annual fundraiser for education is Saturday

The Pawhuska Merchants Association will hold its annual block party to raise money to help support classroom instruction in Pawhuska Public Schools this Saturday, from 3-6 p.m., at the Ag Building at the Osage County Fairgrounds. Chili cooking competition will be a featured activity at the block party. There will be two categories of chili competition. One category will be a CASI (Chili Appreciation Society International) sanctioned cookoff that will involve following a strict set of rules. The second category of chili competition will be a less-strict homestyle category. For more information about the block party, call Cheryl Potts at 918-850-1006, Lyndell Malone at 909-228-5298, or Mary Kay Warren at 918-331-6626. Admission will be $5. Tickets will also be sold at the block party to attendees who wish to eat Frito-chili pie.

BASKETBALL HALL OF FAME

Annual induction banquet is set for Friday

The Pawhuska Basketball Hall of Fame is scheduled to have its annual induction banquet at 5 p.m. Friday, Feb. 7, at the Pawhuska Elementary School cafeteria. Tickets will be $10 each, and will be available at the door. Honorees will include Rodney “Steve” Burris, James Miles and Lynn McGuire Holloway. The Hall of Fame is making an appeal for past inductees to attend, so they can be introduced that evening at the high school basketball games versus Dewey, along with the current inductees. For information, contact Dale Christenson at 918-261-4540.

PAWHUSKA LIBRARY

Story Time scheduled on Thursdays

Yvonne Rose, director of the Pawhuska Library, announced last week that the library had scheduled a Story Time for Young Children for 9:30 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 6, at the library. The event was planned to last about half an hour and feature a story and an activity, Rose said. The Story Time activity is for preschool children, and for children in grades 1-2. The Story Time is being offered to homeschooled children, as well as to children who are enrolled in public school but may not be in school that day, for whatever reason.

Rose said the library hopes to offer the Thursday morning Story Time for Young Children on Thursday mornings during February and March. There is no pre-registration necessary. Call the Pawhuska Library at 918-287-3989 for more information.

ACADEMIC HONORS BANQUET

Tickets to be available throughout February

Mark your calendar and get ready for the 31st Annual Academic Honors Banquet for Pawhuska High School students. The banquet will be held on Monday, March 2 at 6:30 p.m. at the Pawhuska Elks Lodge. The goal is to recognize the top 10% of Pawhuska High School students.

This year we are excited to have Geoffrey Hager as our keynote speaker. Mr. Hager is a PHS graduate who plans to inspire, encourage and motivate the honorees to future success and praise their academic excellence. Tickets will be available in February from American Heritage Bank, Pawhuska Public Schools and the Chamber of Commerce.

BLOOD DRIVE AT ELKS LODGE

Coming up on Thursday, Feb. 6

Oklahoma Blood Institute will hold a blood drive with the Pawhuska community on Thursday, Feb. 6, from Noon to 6 p.m. at the Elks Lodge. Blood donors will receive a free, limited edition, T-shirt inspired by the hit sitcom “Friends.” The Elks Lodge will be serving food and the Pawhuska Hospital Auxiliary will be providing desserts.

Donors will also receive one complimentary admission voucher to Frontier City in Oklahoma City for use during Frontier City’s SPRING dates.**

“Voluntary blood donation is one of the most selfless acts someone can do — being a friend to a stranger and giving hope, healing and comfort during a life-threatening health crisis,” said Jan Laub, executive director, Tulsa. “We encourage healthy adults, age sixteen and older, to ‘be there’ for others in our community by giving blood.”

Every two seconds, someone needs blood, and the supply must be constantly renewed. One blood donation only takes about an hour and saves up to three patients’ lives. If donors opt not to take the T-shirt, Oklahoma Blood Institute will make a monetary donation to Global Blood Fund for blood center assistance in developing countries.

As the nation’s sixth-largest non-profit blood collector, Oklahoma Blood Institute’s donors provide every drop of blood needed for patients in more than 160 hospitals statewide, including Pawhuska Hospital.

It takes approximately 1,200 donors a day to meet those needs. Appointments to give blood are not required but can be made by calling Oklahoma Blood Institute at 877-340-8777 or visiting obi.org.

*16-year-olds must weigh at least 125 pounds and provide signed parental permission; 17-year-olds must weigh at least 125 pounds; 18+ year olds must weigh at least 110 pounds.

**Must be redeemed online at yourbloodinstitute.org. Valid only for successful blood donors. Valid one day only March 14 through March 22 and on these select dates: March 28 and 29 and April 4 and 5. Not valid for special events or park exclusives. Ticket has NO CASH VALUE. Please check Frontiercity.com for dates and hours of operation.

VOTING TIPS OFFERED

Pawhuska council election is Tuesday

Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2020, for the city of Pawhuska primary & Wynona I-30 special school elections. Kelly Chouteau, secretary of the Osage County Election Board, offered voters tips on how to make their votes count.

Chouteau said that a valid ballot marking a filled-in box (in either blue or black ballpoint ink) is important. If voters make mistakes marking their ballots, they should not try to correct those errors. Instead, a voter should return the spoiled ballot to precinct officials, who will destroy it and issue a new ballot to the voter.

Chouteau also urged voters to take their voter identification cards with them to the polls.

“Your voter ID card (issued by the county Election Board) can help precinct officials find your name in the precinct registry, and it may help them resolve the problem if you are not listed in the registry for some reason,” she said.

Alternatively, voters can bring an unexpired photo ID card issued by the U.S. government, the state of Oklahoma, or a federally recognized tribal government.

Voters without ID, or whose names are not found in the precinct registry, or voters who disagree with the information shown in the registry, may always cast a provisional ballot. A provisional ballot is sealed in a special envelope and counted after election day if the voter’s information can be verified by the county Election Board.

Chouteau said that voters who want to get through the line quickly should vote at mid-morning or mid-afternoon, because those usually are the two slowest periods.

“Anyone who is eligible and in line at the polling place at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, February 11, 2020, will be entitled to vote,” she said.

Following is a list of the precinct polling places in the Feb. 11, 2020, elections —

City of Pawhuska Primary Election:

Precinct 107 – Presbyterian Church, 101 E. 12th St., Pawhuska

Precinct 108 – Calvary Baptist Church, 620 E. 15th St., Pawhuska

Wynona I-30 Special School Election:

Precinct 111 – First Baptist Church, 507 Antwine Ave., Wynona

Chouteau also advised voters, candidates, campaign officials, and volunteers to be very aware of, and careful to not violate, state election laws Tuesday, February 11, 2020.

Chouteau said that all known election law violations will be reported to the proper law enforcement authorities, usually the county sheriff and district attorney. Precinct officials will be watching very closely on election day for illegal electioneering by candidates, zealous campaign staff, and their volunteers. It is unlawful in Osage County and across the state of Oklahoma to electioneer within 300 feet of a ballot box.

To electioneer means to work for or against the election of a particular candidate, political party, or issue.

“This includes the illegal placement of any campaign signs inside the 300-feet boundary limit away from the ballot box,” Chouteau reminded.

Election law violations sometimes committed accidentally by voters include disclosing how one voted while within the election enclosure, or removing a ballot from the polling place. Other violations by voters include taking a ballot into or out of the polling place or taking intoxicating liquors within half a mile of a polling location.

It is unlawful for any person to disclose how he or she voted to any other person while inside the election enclosure. Chouteau said it also is against the law for anyone other than voters waiting in line to vote and for precinct or other election officials to be within 50 feet of a ballot box during the election.

Citizens can find these and other state election laws in Title 26 of the Oklahoma Statutes.

Registered voters in Osage County who become physically incapacitated after 5 p.m. Tuesday, February 4, 2020, won’t have to miss the Feb. 11, 2020, city of Pawhuska primary & Wynona I-30 special school elections, Chouteau said.

Chouteau explained that state law permits registered voters who will be unable to go to the polls because they became incapacitated after 5 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2020, to vote on an emergency basis.

“Physical incapacitation” includes a variety of conditions, including injury, illness, and childbirth that prevent a person from voting in person at the polls on election day.

Aside from unplanned emergencies, “state law also allows a registered voter who is physically incapacitated on an ongoing basis or a person who is charged with the care of a physically incapacitated person who cannot be left unattended to submit an application for absentee ballot by an agent,” Chouteau said.

The agent may be any person of the voter’s choosing 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. Also, a person may serve as an agent for only one person at any election, Chouteau said.

“If you think that you or someone you know fits into this category, please contact the Osage County Election Board office as soon as possible for more information,” she said.

Registered voters in Osage County who desired to vote by mail absentee ballot in next Tuesday’s elections had until this Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020, at 5 p.m. to request one, Chouteau said.

“If absentee voters missed Wednesday’s deadline, they aren’t out of luck, however,” Chouteau said.

Early Voting is scheduled for Thursday, Friday

Voters who want to cast absentee ballots still can do so in person at the Osage County Election Board office on Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020, or Friday, Feb. 7, 2020, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. A two-member, bipartisan Absentee Voting Board will be on duty each day to assist absentee voters.

“In-person absentee voters fill out an application form when they get to the office. They are not required to give any reason for voting absentee,” Chouteau said. “They are required to swear that they have not voted a regular mail absentee ballot and that they will not vote at their polling place on election day.”

Voters who have requested an absentee ballot can track their ballot using the Oklahoma State Election Board’s Online Voter Tool available at www.ok.gov/elections/Voter_Info/Online_Voter_Tool/.

According to Chouteau, the Absentee Voting Board verifies a voter’s registration information. Then, the board issues all the appropriate ballots to the voter. The voter marks the ballots in a voting booth and then casts them in the voting device. “It is very much like voting at a precinct polling place,” she said.

Sample ballots are now available on the Oklahoma State Election Board’s Online Voter Tool at www.ok.gov/elections/Voter_Info/Online_Voter_Tool/ and on our website www.osage.okcounties.org for voters who want to get a preview of what will be at stake in the February 11, 2020, City of Pawhuska Primary & Wynona I-30 Special School Elections.

Sample ballots are also available at the Osage County Election Board office.

Kelly Chouteau, 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, OK, during regular office hours, 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.

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

Ballots that will be issued to voters include the following:

City of Pawhuska Primary Election

Wynona I-30 Special School Election

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

CLOSED PRECINCTS

Three precincts closed in Wynona school election

Osage County Election Board Secretary Kelly Chouteau announced that the Wynona I03057 (I-30) School has opted to close Precincts 108, 112 and 306 in Osage County for its Wynona I03057 (I-30) special school election scheduled on Feb. 11, 2020.

State law allows a school district to close a precinct if it’s not entirely within the district’s boundaries and if there are fewer than 100 registered voters in that part of the precinct that is located in the district. There are 19 voters in precinct 108, 0 voters in precinct 112, and 12 voters in precinct 306 that are located in the boundaries of the Wynona I03057 (I-30) School District.

Voters who are registered in Precincts 108, 112 and 306 will receive an application for absentee ballots from the county Election Board. They can fill out, sign and return the application form to the county Election Board to have a ballot mailed to them. Applications for absentee ballots must be received by the county Election Board no later than 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020, for this election. Voters who receive their absentee ballots by mail must return the voted ballot to the county Election Board by mail. Absentee ballots must be in the county Election Board’s hands by 7 p.m. on election day to be counted.

These voters also may vote by in-person absentee at the county Election Board office from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020, or Friday, Feb. 7, 2020.

Any registered voters in Precincts 108, 112 and 306 who believe that they may reside in the Wynona I03057 (I-30) School District and who have not yet received an absentee ballot application from the county Election Board should call the office immediately at 918-287-3036.