McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

State House

November 7, 2013

Early voting: New law now in effect for Tuesday's election

A variety of questions are on the ballot for county voters, depending on where they live.

ENID, Okla. — Some Garfield County residents took advantage of a change in the state’s early voting law to cast their ballots Thursday.

The change in the law was effective Nov. 1. It changes the early voting period to Thursday and Friday before an election, instead of Friday and Monday.

By mid-morning Thursday eight people had cast early votes, said Garfield County Election Board Secretary Roy Schneider. The election board office will be open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. today for in-person absentee voting.

A variety of questions are on the ballot for county voters, depending on where they live.

Enid voters will decide an amendment to the city charter to provide for collective bargaining for municipal employees.

If a majority of voters approve, city of Enid employees will be able to join American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees and negotiate as a unit. City workers will not have the ability to strike or slowdown. If the city and AFSCME can’t agree to terms, contract negotiations will go into mediation or arbitration.

Voters in Garber will decide whether to approve the renewal of a 25-year franchise agreement with OG&E Electric Services. Under terms of the agreement, 3 percent of OG&E’s monthly gross revenue goes into an account for the town. Little estimated that adds up to $20,000 per year for the franchise and about a $3,000 for the services provided to the town-owned facilities in Garber.

Kremlin-Hillsdale Public School patrons will decide an $8.8 million bond issue to fund construction of a new junior high and high school with storm shelter.

Waukomis schools are asking for approval of two propositions. Proposition 1 seeks $2.49 million for construction of a community storm shelter and physical education facility.

The second proposition asks for $170,000 to buy two 71-passenger route buses.

Polls will be open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday.

State law permits voters who will be unable to go to the polls because they became incapacitated after 5 p.m. Tuesday to vote on an emergency basis. Physical incapacitation includes a variety of conditions — injury, illness and childbirth — that prevent a person from voting in person at the polls on election day.

“If you think that you or someone you know fits into this category, contact the county election board office at 237-6016 as soon as possible for more information,” Schneider said.

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