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October 4, 2012

Payne County residents have until Oct. 12 to register

STILLWATER, Okla. — If you don’t register to vote by 5 p.m. Oct. 12, you won’t be able vote in the Nov. 6 general election.

The Payne County Election Board had  1,101 voter registrations in September, with 839 of those being new voters.

Valerie Bryant, the board’s chief clerk, said the registrations that aren’t new involve changes in political party affiliation or address. Bryant added that people who don’t vote in two consecutive general elections also have to re-register to vote.

Bryant said more students came in to register in September.

“We’re getting a lot from the colleges, which is good,” Bryant said.

Bryant said she expects the number of registrations in October to exceed September.

Bryant said the last day to apply for absentee voting is Oct. 31. Bryant said the periods for in-person absentee voting (also called early voting) are from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Nov. 2, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Nov. 3 and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Nov. 5.

Bryant said absentee voters can mail in their ballot, with the ballots due by election day at 5 p.m. She said that would mean voters would have to mail their ballots by Nov. 3, which would be “cutting it pretty close.”

A statewide voter registration report provided by election board secretary Alyson Dawson showed 28,828 new registrations in September.

Information gathered from the U.S. Census Bureau website showed approximately 63,000 people who live in Payne County are age 18 or older. The election board’s report shows 40,327 people registered to vote in Payne County at the end of September — about 65 percent of people who are voting age.

Also on the ballot is the election for U.S. Rep. for District 3, which includes Payne County. Timothy Murray, Democrat, and William Sanders, Independent, are challenging incumbent Republican Frank Lucas.

In Payne County, Republican Glenna Craig is challenging incumbent Democrat Linda Hatfield for County Clerk. Craig is the Payne County Chief Deputy Assessor.

Two referendums are on the ballot as well. One would allow Sunday wine and beer sales for restaurants. The other would raise the county sales tax by 1/16 of 1 percent, with the revenue going to the county’s five volunteer fire departments to allow them to buy equipment.

In addition, four justices of the Oklahoma Supreme Court are running for retention, as well as three judges on the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals and five judges on the Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals.

Six state questions also will be decided.

The text of the questions is available on sample ballots at the Payne County Election Board, 315 W. 6th Ave. Bryant said the sample ballots will be available on the Payne County website, PayneCounty.org, within the next few days.

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