Voters in Sequoyah County who want to have absentee ballots mailed to them for the November 4 general election should apply now, Sequoyah County Election Board Secretary Cindy Osborn said this week. Although the county election board can accept applications for absentee ballots until 5 p.m. on October 29, Osborn urged voters who want to vote by absentee ballot to apply early. Absentee ballot application forms are available at the county election board office located at 110 E Creek Ave. in Sallisaw. The absentee ballot application forms also can be downloaded and printed from the Internet at www.elections.ok.gov
. "At least two mail transactions must be made," Osborn said. "The county election board must mail the ballots to the voter and the voter must return the voted ballots by mail." Ballots must be in the hands of the county election board by 7 p.m. on election day in order to be counted. Osborn said any registered voter may vote by absentee ballot in any election in which he or she is eligible to vote. It is not necessary to give a reason or excuse for voting absentee. "While anyone can vote absentee without giving a reason, the law still provides several excuses, and it is to the advantage of some voters to use one of them," Osburn said. By stating one of the following reasons on their applications, these voters can activate some special conditions that make it easier for them to use absentee ballots. The reasons are:
--Voters who are physically incapacitated and voters who care for physically incapacitated persons who cannot be left unattended may vote absentee. They may apply by mail, or by fax.
--Military personnel and residents of the county living overseas and the spouses and dependents of each group are eligible to vote absentee without being registered. These voters may apply only by mail or fax. Military personnel should contact the Voting Service Officers in their units for application forms and additional information. Residents of Oklahoma living overseas can obtain the same materials from any U.S. military installation and from U.S. embassies and consulates. Military personnel and overseas citizens also can download and print the appropriate application form from the Internet at www.fvap.gov.
Sally Maxwell, Senior News Director
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