What To Know Before Heading To The Polls On Election Day


Monday, November 2nd 2020, 5:16 pm
By: Tevis Hillis


After a historic ice storm left many Oklahomans without electricity, this is not stopping polls from opening at 7 a.m. Tuesday.

"The beauty of a paper-based voting system that Oklahoma has where you use paper ballots. You don't have to have power," said Paul Ziriax, the Oklahoma State Election Board secretary.

Regardless of whether there is power at polling places, voters can still cast their ballot.

"Election officials at the precinct can check you in, they can issue the correct ballot, you can vote that ballot by hand, and then every ballot box has an emergency bin," said Ziriax.   

This emergency bin secures the ballot until ballots can be counted electronically.

Ziriax asked each voter to plan out extra time in their day due to the COVID-19 precautions put into place.

"It includes things like social distancing, disinfection, making sure there is sufficient sanitizer, not reusing pens," said Ziriax. 

Mask are strongly encouraged, and remember, there are rules around what mask, hat or shirts you can wear to polling centers.

"Electioneering is advocating for or against a candidate or an issue on the ballot. So, you cannot wear something that is related to a specific candidate, whether it is that candidate's name or a campaign slogan," said Ziriax.

Voters can wear items that have very broad political statements. Those with questions about what is allowed can contact their county election board directly. 

As of noon Monday, the Oklahoma State Election Board said more than 165,000 people voted early in-person and more than 272,000 others have mailed in their ballot.

"I am confident every county election board will finish at some point tomorrow night, and we will have the final unofficial totals," said Ziriax. 

Polling places close at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

Click here for more information on voting.