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Tell the House to vote NO on SB 1779

microscopic image of the coronavirusThe legislature is looking to undermine the Oklahoma State Supreme Court and make it more difficult for voters to participate in elections during a global pandemic.

Please call your state representative and ask for a NO vote on SB 1779.

It reinstates the notary requirement for absentee ballots, a requirement the Oklahoma State Supreme Court struck down this week.

Only Oklahoma and Mississippi require voters to pass such a high bar to vote by mail. Why are we making it harder to vote in our state than it is in 48 other states?

Our elected officials should be figuring out how to make voting more accessible — not less.

No one should have to choose between voting and safety.

The House is expected to hear this bill at 1:30 TODAY, Wednesday, May 6. 

The Background

OEA was part of a broad, nonpartisan coalition of organizations that brought a lawsuit asking the courts to strike down the practice of requiring absentee ballots to be notarized. During the coronavirus pandemic, voters need to be able to exercise their right to vote without endangering their own health or the health of others.

On Monday, the Supreme Court ruled that an 18-year-old law already on the books gives Oklahomans the right to vote by mail without getting their ballot notarized. The court said that the law allows an absentee voter to simply attest under penalty of law that the ballot they are sending in is their own.

On Tuesday, an existing bill — one that was already trying to make it harder to vote by mail — was stripped of its language and replaced with language to respond to Monday’s court decision. Here’s what’s in the new SB 1779:

  • You can vote absentee in the June 30 election without your ballot being notarized. You just have to send in a photocopy of your ID. (Feel free to use your home copy machine for that.) Only two states have the photocopy requirement.
  • After the June 30 elections, the notary requirement is reinstated.
Tell the House to vote NO on Senate Bill 1779