Voting tips offered for April 5 elections

Pawhuska Journal-Capital

Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, April 5, 2022 for the following elections:

Anderson C05257 Board of Education General;

 Barnsdall I02957 Board of Education General;

 Bartlesville I03074 Board of Education General;

 Ponca City I07136 Board of Education General;

 Woodland I09057 Board of Education General;

Osage Hills C00357 Board of Education Special;

Sand Springs I00272 Board of Education General, & City of Sand Springs Municipal General Elections.

Osage County Election Board Secretary Kelly Chouteau 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 Osage 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.” 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, April 5, 2022, will be entitled to vote," the Osage County Election Board Secretary added.

Following is a list of the precinct polling places in the April 5, 2022, elections:

Anderson C05257 Board of Education General Election --

Precinct 308 – Keystone Hills Baptist Church, 161 New Prue Rd, Sand Springs;

Precinct 309 – Rock Fire Dept. Station #1, 7716 Zink Rd, Skiatook;

Precinct 312 – Community Assembly Church, 2247 N State Hwy 97, Sand Springs.

Barnsdall I02957 Board of Education General Election --

Precinct 102 – Labadie Heights Baptist Church, 187 CR 2706, Bartlesville;

Precinct 109 – Labadie Heights Baptist Church, 187 CR 2706, Bartlesville;

Precinct 110 – Barnsdall City Hall/PSO Building, 409 W Main, Barnsdall;

Precinct 112 – Avant Community Center, 306 S Havens, Avant.

Bartlesville I03074 Board of Education General Election --

Precinct 102 – Labadie Heights Baptist Church, 187 CR 2706, Bartlesville;

Precinct 109 – Labadie Heights Baptist Church, 187 CR 2706, Bartlesville.

Ponca City I07135 Board of Education General Election --

Precinct 105 – McCord Senior Citizens, 115 Mary Road, Ponca City;

Precinct 303 – Osage Cove Fire District Assoc., 57801 US Hwy 60, Ponca City.

Woodland I09057 Board of Education General Election --

Precinct 301 – First Osage Baptist Church, 236 S Main, Fairfax;

Precinct 302 – New Hope Christian Fellowship, 161 N 5th St, Fairfax;

Precinct 303 – Osage Cove Fire District Assoc., 57801 US Hwy 60, Ponca City;

Precinct 306 – First Assembly of God, 313 S She She, Hominy.

Osage Hills C00357 Board of Education Special Election --

Precinct 109 – Labadie Heights Baptist Church, 187 CR 2706, Bartlesville.

Sand Springs I00272 Board of Education General Election --

Precinct 203 – First Baptist Church, 825 W Rogers Blvd, Skiatook;

Precinct 204 – Country Corner Fire Station, 6983 W 113st St N, Sperry;

Precinct 306 – First Assembly of God, 313 S She She, Hominy;

Precinct 307 – First Baptist Church, 202 S Price, Hominy;

Precinct 308 – Keystone Hills Baptist Church, 161 New Prue Rd, Sand Springs;

Precinct 309 – Rock Fire Dept. Station #1, 7716 Zink Rd, Skiatook;

Precinct 312 – Community Assembly Church, 2247 N State Hwy 97, Sand Springs.

City of Sand Springs Municipal General Election --

Precinct 312 – Community Assembly Church, 2247 N State Hwy 97, Sand Springs.

Chouteau also advised voters, candidates, campaign officials, and volunteers to be very aware of and careful to not violate state election laws Tuesday, April 5, 2022.

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’s 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 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, March 29, 2022, won’t have to miss the April 5 2022 elections.

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, March 29, 2022, to vote on an emergency basis. “Physical incapacitation” includes a variety of conditions injury, illness, 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.”

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 explained.

“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.”

“If absentee voters missed the Monday, March 21, 2022, deadline they aren’t out of luck, however,” Chouteau said.

Voters who want to cast absentee ballots still can do so in person at the Osage County Fairgrounds on Thursday, March 31, 2022 and Friday, April 1, 2022, 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 April 5, 2022 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.

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.