A temporary absentee ballot verification option put in place by Oklahoma legislators in 2020 has expired, meaning voters now must have the documents notarized.

The temporary verification option was part of Senate Bill 210, passed in Spring 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The bill gave Oklahoma voters the option to include a copy of their valid ID in lieu of a notarized or witnessed signature on their absentee ballot affidavit. Certain provisions of the bill were valid for the 2020 election year only and expired in December.

Comanche County Election Board Secretary Amy Sims said voters who request absentee ballots in 2021 will receive updated absentee ballot instructions with their balloting material and should read them thoroughly before placing ballots in the mail. She said “standard” absentee ballot affidavits must be notarized. “Physically incapacitated” absentee ballot affidavits must have the voter’s signature witnessed by two people.

“In other words, voters will submit their absentee ballots the same way they did prior to Senate Bill 210. As always, we recommend voters allow themselves plenty of time to receive, vote, and return their ballots,” Sims said.

Voters may request absentee ballots online using the OK Voter Portal on the State Election Board website at https://oklahoma.gov/elections/ovp.html or pick up an application from their county election boards. A list of notaries may be found on the state election board website at https://oklahoma.gov/elections/voter-info/absentee-voting/notary-services.html.

Additional information is available by contacting the Comanche County Election Board, (580) 353-1880 or Comanchecounty@elections.ok.gov. The election board office is located in the Comanche County Courthouse at 315 SW 5th, Suite 206. Office hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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