Oklahoma Election Board launches online voter registration

The Associated Press - July 15, 2023 8:25 am

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Oklahoma State Election Board announced on Tuesday the launch of a new online voter registration system, making it easier for people to register to vote.

Oklahoma now becomes the 40th state to allow people to register to vote online, according to the American Civil Liberties Union. Neighboring Texas and Arkansas do not allow online voter registration, according to the ACLU.

Oklahoma’s new system allows people to submit an application for voter registration online, rather than in person or by mail, with applications approved following a match from the applicant’s driver license or state identification card.

“Best of all, the system has undergone rigorous testing to ensure it is safe and secure,” Election Board Secretary Paul Ziriax said in a statement.

To register to vote online, state law requires that eligible applicants must:

  • Be a citizen of the United States, a resident of the State of Oklahoma, and 18 years or older by Election Day;
  • Have a valid Oklahoma Driver License or State Identification Card issued by Service Oklahoma (Oklahoma’s driver license agency); and
  • Have a digital signature on file with Service Oklahoma.

Those without an Oklahoma Driver License/State Identification Card or a digital signature on file cannot submit a voter registration application online, but may fill out an application using the OK Voter Portal “voter registration wizard” and submit the application by mail or in person to the applicant’s County Election Board.

All Voter Registration Applications – including those submitted online – are reviewed and manually processed by the County Election Board Secretary prior to approval. Once a Voter Registration Application has been processed and approved, the voter will receive a Voter ID card by mail confirming the registration. If an application is unable to be approved, the County Election Board will notify the applicant by mail.

“The implementation of Online Voter Registration was the product of a team effort,” Ziriax said. “The State Election Board is grateful to our partners at OMES and Service Oklahoma for helping us make online voter registration a reality in Oklahoma.”

Individuals with questions about registering to vote should contact their County Election Board or the State Election Board at (405) 521-2391 or [email protected].

Oklahoma’s Republican-led Legislature authorized online voter registration in 2015. Ziriax attributed the delay to the time it took to modernize the state driver’s license and identification card system.

Tuesday’s launch was praised by Democrats, who said the new system will make voting more convenient and accessible for all citizens.

“We are excited about the possibilities this opens for Oklahomans, especially those in rural or underserved areas who may have had difficulty registering in the past,” Oklahoma Democratic Party Chair Alicia Andrews said.


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