With Election Day right around the corner, I wanted to provide some information regarding how to protect your ballot and ensure your vote is counted!

The Nov. 3 election will have a host of offices on your ballot, including president and vice president, Congressional seats and two state questions. You may also have a legislative race or municipal offices on your ballot, as well as any changes to city provisions.

Anyone wishing to vote by mail must request an absentee ballot by Oct. 27 at 5 p.m. However, to ensure you receive your ballot on time, I recommend that you request it as soon as possible.

Absentee ballots can be returned via mail or at your county election board office. Ballots returned by mail must be received by Election Day, or they won’t be counted.

Whether you mail or drop off your absentee ballot, you can track its progress online through the Oklahoma State Election Board’s Voter Portal. Simply find your registration and you’ll be able to see when your ballot was mailed to you, received by the Election Board and counted! You can view the Voter Portal at https://okvoterportal.okelections.us/.

Additional precautions approved by the Legislature and enacted by Gov. Stitt also mean a person can submit a copy of their voter registration card or other form of identification in lieu of having their absentee ballot notarized. This ensures that every person who voted absentee is a registered voter in Oklahoma!

Another option is to vote early at your county election board office. Early voting starts on Thursday, Oct. 29 from 8 a.m.-6 p.m. and continues Friday, Oct. 30 from 8 a.m.-6 p.m. You can also vote on Saturday, Oct. 31 from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. The polls are open on Election Day, which is Tuesday, Nov. 3, from 7 a.m.-7 p.m., and any person in line to vote by 7 p.m. will be allowed to vote.

For anyone voting in person, you can use the online Voter Portal to find your registration information and preview your ballot so you know what to expect. There are so many offices and state questions on the ballot that it’s wise to do your homework ahead of time and study up on these issues prior to voting!

I want to thank the tireless workers at the Logan County and Payne County Election Boards for all their hard work during this busy season! Sheleen Winscott and Dondee Klein serve as the secretaries for Logan and Payne County Election Boards, respectively.

And thank you to the many Oklahomans who will volunteer their free time to serve as poll workers!

Another important deadline to keep in mind is Oct. 1, 2021, which is the deadline to get a REAL ID if you need to fly or enter a federal facility. REAL IDs will be available in Payne County soon – you can go to stillwatertagagency.com to make an appointment in November.

Appointments are $4 and are not required, but it is strongly recommended that you sign up ahead of time to ensure you don’t have to wait. Only a limited number of walk-ins are accepted each day. All fees will need to be paid at the conclusion of your appointment, and you can find those fees as www.realid.ok.gov.

To obtain a REAL ID, you will need proof of identity or lawful presence in the U.S., proof of your Social Security number, and two proofs of your current Oklahoma address. After your appointment, you will be given a temporary paper identification to use until you receive your official REAL ID through the mail a week later. More information is available at www.realid.ok.gov.

For those with a commercial driver’s license, the best way to get a REAL CDL is to set up an appointment at ok.gov/dps.

If you have any questions regarding REAL IDs, don’t hesitate to reach out to my office. You can contact me at 405-557-7304 or john.talley@okhouse.gov.

Thank you for the opportunity to serve!

Rep. John Talley, a Republican, serves District 33 in the Oklahoma House of Representatives, which covers Logan and Payne Counties.

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