Voting deadlines are drawing near

The deadline for registered voters to change their party affiliation for upcoming Primary and Runoff Primary elections is March 31, State Election Board Secretary Paul Ziriax said.

By statute, changing party affiliation is not allowed from April 1 to Aug. 31. All requests to change party affiliation submitted after March 31 will be processed Sept. 1.

Oklahoma has a modified closed primary system, meaning registered voters of a political party may only vote in their party’s primary and runoff primary elections.

However, the law allows the parties to notify the State Election Board every two years if they would like to let Independents vote in their primaries.

The Democratic Party is allowing Independent voters to participate in its primaries and runoffs in 2016 and 2017.

The Libertarian Party has turned in petitions seeking recognition as a political party and they havce been recognized.  The Libertarian Party also intends to let Independents vote in its primaries if it becomes a recognized political party.

Party affiliation can be changed by filling out a voter registration application form. Forms can be downloaded at www.elections.ok.gov. They are also available at tag agencies, post offices, libraries and all 77 county election boards. Registered voters must be citizens of the United States, residents of the State of Oklahoma and 18 or older before the date of the next election.