Voters in Pontotoc County who want to have absentee ballots mailed to them for the July 25 Primary Election should apply now, County Election Board personnel said today. Although the County Election Board can accept applications for absentee ballots until 5 p.m. on July 19, voters who want to vote by absentee ballot need to apply earlier. Application forms are available at the County Election Board office located in Room 202 of the Pontotoc County Courthouse. If voters have questions, they should call the Election Board at (580) 332-4534.

At least two mail transactions must be made. The County Election Board must mail the ballots to the voter, and the voter must return the voted ballots by mail. Ballots must be in the hands of the County Election Board by 7 p.m. on election day in order to be counted.

Any registered voter may vote by absentee ballot in any election in which he or she is eligible to vote.

It is not necessary to give a reason or excuse for voting absentee. While anyone can vote absentee without giving a reason, the law still provides several excuses and it is to the advantage of some voters to use one of them. By stating one of the following reasons on their applications, these voters can activate some special conditions that make it easier for them to use absentee ballots. The reasons are:

Voters who are confined to nursing homes in the county may vote absentee. An Absentee Voting Board actually goes to the nursing home a few days before the election, sets up a small polling place and allows these persons to vote under circumstance similar to those at a regular precinct polling place.

Military personnel and residents of the county living overseas and the spouses and dependents of each group are eligible to vote absentee without being registered. These voters may apply only be mail. Military personnel should contact the Voting Service Officers in their units for application forms and additional information. Residents of Oklahoma living overseas can obtain the same materials from any United States military installation and from United States Embassies and Consulates.

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