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May 7, 2014

Grady County to participate in new online ballot system

CHICKASHA — The Grady County Election Board is preparing to send online ballots for the June 24 primary elections and Verden special election to military and overseas voters as part of a new delivery system.

The new Oklahoma Military and Overseas Ballots Online system allows voters to receive an email when their ballot is available with a link to a website they log into and download their ballots from, according to the Oklahoma State Election Board. Voters would then fill out their ballot before printing or by hand and mail or fax their ballot back.

"This is a great step forward in giving our military voters better, faster access to their ballots while maintaining ballot security," Oklahoma State Election Board Secretary Paul Ziriax said. "I encourage everyone who is eligible for this program to give it a try.

Grady County Election Board Secretary Susan Turner said she expects to send approximately 20 online ballots this week.

Turner said the deadline for absentee voters to apply for ballots for the June 24 primary election or the Verden special election is 5 p.m. June 18, but voters should apply early if possible.

Any registered voter can choose to vote absentee, but being physically incapacitated, in a nursing home, or in the military are excuses provided by law for doing so, she said.

"At least two mail transactions must be made," Turner said. "The county election board must mail the ballots to the voter and the voter must return the voted ballots by mail."

The ballots have to be at the county election board office by 7 p.m. June 24 to be counted, she said.

Oklahomans in the military or living overseas who fill out the Federal Post Card application for absentee ballots are eligible for the new online system, according to the state election board.

The system also allows military and overseas voters to track whether their ballot was received by their local election board.

Those who wish to receive their ballots electronically can fill out a Federal Post Card application at www.FVAP.gov/oklahoma and return it to the county election board by 5 p.m. on June 18.

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