McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

February 5, 2014

Mail-in deadline, early voting set in school elections

By James Beaty
Senior Editor

McALESTER — Qualified voters in three school districts in Pittsburg County who want to vote by mail-in absentee ballot in next week’s school elections have until 5 p.m. Wednesday to request one — but if they miss the deadline, they still have an opportunity to cast an absentee ballot vote.

That’s because early in-person absentee balloting will be available this week at the Pittsburg County Election Board Office.

School board elections are set for next Tuesday, Feb. 11, in the Hartshorne, Crowder and Tannehill school districts. Plans call for all regular polling places in the school districts to be open from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. on election day.

In the Hartshorne School District, Ben Ashlock and Casey McCoy are vying for a term in Office No. 4.

Crowder’s school district features a race between Deelynn Hall and Doyle Morris, also in Office No. 4.

In the Tannehill School District, Don Goodspeed and Karlita Lott are both running for a seat in Office No. 1.

For those who would prefer to vote by absentee ballot, early in-person absentee ballot voting will be available from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. Thursday. Feb. 6, and Friday, Feb. 7, at the Pittsburg County Election Board Office at 109 E. Carl Albert Parkway.

A two-member, bi-partisan Absentee Voting Board is set to be on duty both days to assist absentee voters.

“In-person absentee voters fill out an application form when they get to the office,” said Pittsburg County Election Board Secretary Cathy Thornton.

Voters are not required to give a reason for voting absentee, she said.

“They are required to swear that they have not voted a regular mail absentee ballot and that they will not vote at their polling place on election day.” Thornton said.

The Absentee Voting Board verifies a voter’s registration information and then issues the appropriate ballots, she said.

Voters can then mark the ballots in a voting booth and place them in the device that counts the ballots. Thornton said it’s much like voting in a precinct polling place.

Anyone needing more information can contact the Pittsburg County Election Board at 918-423-3877.

Contact James Beaty at jbeaty@mcalesternews.com.