Helena citizens to go to the polls

Voters will head to the polls on July 13 to decide on an OG&E 25-year franchise for the Town of Helena. The polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Alfalfa County Election Board Secretary, Kelly Stein recommends voters with questions about their eligibility or polling place call before Election Day.

“We provide a number of additional services to voters on Election Day, so it can get very busy. If you have any questions, we strongly suggest you call or come by the week before Election Day if possible. If you find that you do have a question on Election Day, however, don’t hesitate to call.”

Stein says the State Election Board’s OK Voter Portal is the easiest way for voters to verify their registration or locate their polling place. The OK Voter Portal can be found at oklahoma.gov/elections/ovp.

The Alfalfa County Election Board reminds voters to bring a current federal or Oklahoma state-issued photo ID, or federally-recognized tribal ID to their polling place. An official Voter Identification Card can also be used as proof of identity. If you forget your ID, you may still cast a provisional ballot by signing an affidavit. Provisional ballots will be verified and counted after Election Day and before the election is certified.

Voters in Alfalfa County are reminded to keep the integrity of the election system in mind, when going to the polls.

While ballot “selfies” or taking photographs of a marked ballot are legal, voters may not share or distribute the image through social media or by any other means while inside the election enclosure. Voters must wait until they leave their polling place before posting or sharing the picture with anyone. Improper use of the photo could result in a violation of the law. Voters may not use the image to coerce, influence, or intimidate another voter.

Stein says voters should be aware that violating the law has consequences.

“While some offenses may seem minor, unlawful activity on Election Day constitutes a serious crime and could result in a misdemeanor or in some cases, a felony conviction. We want all voters to be aware of their actions and be respectful of the rights of others.”

Stein said, it is illegal to disclose how you voted with anyone while inside the election enclosure. In addition, you may not remove a ballot from the polling place.

Keep in mind that electioneering is prohibited within 300 feet of any ballot box while an election is in progress. This includes wearing or bringing visible campaign related paraphernalia into the election enclosure. Stein notes that no one except election officials and voters waiting to vote are allowed within 50 feet of any ballot box on Election Day. Certain exceptions are made for media and those assisting disabled voters.

Voters are reminded that consuming alcohol of any kind or quantity within one-half mile of a polling place on Election Day is prohibited.

The polls will be open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. July 13.

Registered voters who become physically incapacitated after 5 p.m. Tuesday, July 6 and cannot make it to the polls, still have an opportunity to cast their ballot.

Stein said that state law permits voters who become emergency incapacitated after 5 p.m. Tuesday, July 6 to vote under special provisions. Stein said emergency incapacitation is something most voters don’t think about.

“Voting is our constitutional right, but life happens. Injury, illness, or even childbirth can prevent a voter from being able to go to the polls. That’s why it’s important to make sure voters know their rights in the event of an emergency.”

If you or someone you know becomes physically incapacitated after 5 p.m. July 6, contact your County Election Board as soon as possible. Stein says Election Board officials will work with you to make sure you have all of the necessary information to cast your ballot. Forms and information can also be found on the Oklahoma State Election Board website at oklahoma.gov/elections. 

For questions, please contact the Alfalfa County Election Board at 580-596-2718 or alfalfacounty@elections.ok.gov.

The County Election Board is located at 602 W. 5th St. Ste 3, Cherokee. Office hours are 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

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