State Lawmakers consider election rule changes after 2020 election
Mike Seals - February 9, 2021 11:08 pm
by: Brent Skarky
OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – State lawmakers are starting to tackle one of the biggest issues coming out of 2020 besides the pandemic – election reform.
One would figure with all the issues coming out of last November’s election that changes to the system were going to be proposed on both sides of the isle. Today we certainly saw the beginning of that process at the Oklahoma State Capitol.
“We want to maintain security while also providing convenience for voters, and it’s up to the legislature to determine what the proper balance is,” said Paul Ziriax, State Election Board Secretary.
“It’s a privledge to get to vote, so I want to go to my polling place when it’s time to vote; I feel like that’s my duty,” said Rep. Jim Grego.
“We are not blessed, unfortunately, with everyone as dedicated as you are about voting,”said Rep. Meloyde Blancett.
A bill that would put a notary at all colleges and universities and one that would automatically register voters upon turning 18 were voted down.
While one that makes sure the deceased are removed from rolls and one that allows absentee voters to cast a provisional ballot went thru to the House floor.
“We are quick to remove folks from our voter rolls and not as quick to ensure access,” said Rep. Cyndi Munson of Oklahoma City.
“I don’t want to lax it up so much that it’s easy for voter fraud, but I don’t want to make it so hard for people not to get into vote; the happy medium is not met yet,” said Rep. David Smith, R-Arpelar.
Two important bills, one that would establish more locations to turn in absentee ballots and one that greatly extends the number of days for absentee voting, were put on hold for more work.
“Access is important, cost is important, security is the most important thing but, you don’t want it so secure that you have hardly any access. So again, its somewhat of a balancing act,” said Rep. Jim Olsen of Roland.
Also a bill, that would bypass a primary when all the candidates are from the same party and put the vote to a general election, failed by a vote of 6-2 .