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New state law changes early voting, absentee voting dates

A new state law which takes effect on Nov. 1, 2013, changes the dates and times voters have come to expect for early voting in Oklahoma.

Now, early voting begins a day earlier, on Thursday and continues on Friday and Saturday, Osage County Election Board Secretary, Andrea Conner, explained today. Of special note, all early voting on Monday is discontinued.

These changes have occurred due to the approval of SB 869, which was signed into law in May, 2013, Conner said.

The new law also adjusts the hours for Saturday in-person absentee voting to begin and end one hour later than previously authorized. Conner explained that during federal and state elections, when voter turnout is often heaviest, the Saturday option gives voters a third opportunity to vote early prior to the election day.

Among the changes which become effective on Nov. 1:

— In-person absentee “early” voting now occurs from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursday and Friday and continues on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. (during State and Federal Elections only).

— Under the new statute, Monday voting is discontinued entirely. Previously, early voting began on Friday and continued on Monday. Under the old statute, Saturday hours were 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

More information about absentee voting in Oklahoma, as well as other election related information, is available at www.elections.ok.gov

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