Oklahoma voters who wait until the Monday before the election to cast their ballots  will have to change their plans this year.

     A new state law, which took effect Nov. 1, changes the days when voters can take advantage of early voting at their county election board office. Starting this month, people can cast advance ballots in person on Thursday and Friday before an election. Early voting on Saturdays will be available from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m., but only for state and federal elections.

     Previously, people could cast advance ballots in Friday, Saturday and Monday before the election.

     Eliminating early voting on Mondays will make life easier for local election officials, who will have more time to get ready for Election Day, Pontotoc County Election Board Secretary Marilyn McDaniel said Friday.

     “Mondays are a very, very busy day for us, because we have our workers picking up supplies. Sometimes we have to go to the polling places,” she said. “It will just benefit our office and everyone else in the state because we all do it the same.”

     The new law took effect this week in 27 counties that have scheduled elections for Nov. 12, including Coal County. Voters in Coal County are deciding whether to renew a countywide sales tax and determining the winner of the county commissioner’s race for District 1.

     The law will not kick in for Pontotoc County voters until February, when school board elections are scheduled.

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