Oklahoma governor signs bill to extend early voting by 1 day

Mike Seals - May 12, 2021 11:18 pm

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt signed a bill to expand early, in-person voting by one day during general elections.

The bill Stitt signed late Tuesday will add one day of early, in-person voting from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on the Wednesday before a general election.

Oklahoma currently has 2 1/2 days of early, in-person absentee voting on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

The bill would also require voters to request mail-in absentee ballots earlier to ensure election officials have time to receive and count the ballot by Election Day.

The governor also vetoed a bill that would have expanded the definition of bullying to include “spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally, and excluding someone from a group as a means of causing harm.”

Stitt cited in his veto message the potential for unintended consequences.

“The practically catch-all nature of the expanded definition opens the door to innocent behavior being treated as ‘bullying’ by overzealous authorities,” the governor wrote.

The bill was authored by fellow Republicans Sen. Rob Standridge of Norman and Rep. Daniel Pae of Lawton. It takes effect Jan. 1.

 

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