Student Voting Guide | Oklahoma

August 15, 2014

This student voting guide explains the laws for the state of Oklahoma.  If you wish to vote from your school address, check the student voting guide for the state in which you attend school.  If you are interested in casting an absentee ballot in your home state, check the student voting guide for that state.

The Brennan Center is committed to giving students as much information as possible to help you exercise your constitutional right to vote. More than ever in recent history, changes to voting laws are being implemented in ways that can affect your ability to make your vote count. In addition to the content you will find in this Student Voting Guide, we continue to track passed and pending voting law changes here. While we are working to give you up-to-date information, we urge you to be proactive! In order to ensure you have all the information you need before casting your vote, you should also check with your state and local election officials for information about additional requirements or regulations.

This voting guide was last updated August 15, 2014.

Registration

To vote in Oklahoma you must be 18 years old, a citizen of the United States, and a resident of Oklahoma.[1] If you will turn 18 by the next election, you may preregister to vote within the 60 days before that election.[2]  If you have been convicted of a felony, it may impact your ability to vote.[3]  You should contact your local election officials if you think you may be affected by a felony conviction.

Registration ends 24 days before Election Day.[4] For the 2014 General Election the last day to register is October 10th.  You may register in person at your county election board, at the DMV, or by mail.[5]  If you mail your registration application it must be postmarked by the registration deadline to be accepted for the election.[6]

Residency

All “bona fide” residents of Oklahoma have the right to register and vote.[7] Under Oklahoma law, if you move to or within Oklahoma, the most important factor in determining your voting residency is your intent to leave your old home and establish a new one.[8]

At School. Students can establish residency in Oklahoma if they have an intention to remain at their Oklahoma school address for the time being, and they intend to make it their principal home.[9] Any other interpretation of the residency laws is unconstitutional. 

You may register in the community where you attend college and vote in city, state, and federal elections if your permanent residence is your school residence.[10]  If you move to school intending to make a home there you may establish residency in Oklahoma.[11]  You have the right to cast a ballot as a resident of Oklahoma regardless of your status as a student or whether you pay in-state or out-of-state tuition.

At Home. Students who lived in Oklahoma before moving elsewhere to attend school, and who wish to establish or keep their Oklahoma voting residency (i.e., at their parents’ Oklahoma address), should be able to do so. Oklahoma courts look to a person’s intent in assessing residency—“present abode, in and of itself, is not conclusive.”[12]

Identification

Every voter who votes in person, either on Election Day or during early voting, will be asked to show proof of identity.  Proof of identity can be shown by a document issued by the United States government, the State of Oklahoma, or the government of a federally recognized Indian tribe or nation.[13]  The document must show your name, photograph, and an unexpired expiration date.[14]  You may also use the voter identification card you received by mail from the County Election Board when you registered to vote.[15]

If you are unable to show proof of identity, you may sign a statement under oath affirming that you are the person identified on the precinct registry and vote by provisional ballot.[16]  Your vote will be counted if your name, address, date of birth, and driver’s license number of last four digits of your social security number, as provided on the affidavit, match your record in the registration database.[17]

Absentee Voting

Any registered voter may vote absentee.[18]  You must apply for an absentee ballot by 5:00 p.m. on the Wednesday before Election Day.[19]  You may apply in person at your county election board, by mail, or fax.[20]  The blank application is available online at the Board of Elections’ website. 

When you fill out your absentee ballot, you will also have to fill out and sign the accompanying affidavit.[21]   Your signature must be notarized by a notary public, at no charge to you.[22]  Your county election board must receive your absentee ballot by 7:00 p.m. on Election Day.[23]

Early Voting

As a convenience to voters, Oklahoma has early voting from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on the Thursday and Friday before all elections, and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday before Election Day for state and federal elections.[24] Check with your local election official for locations and dates.

Last Updated August 15, 2014.


[1] Okla. Const. art. III, § 1.

[2] Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 26, § 4-103.

[3] Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 26 § 4-101(1).

[4] Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 26, § 4-110.1(A).

[5] Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 26 § 4-103.1(A).

[6] Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 26 § 4-110.1(A).

[7] Okla. Const. art. III, § 1.

[8] In re Initiative Petition No. 379, State Question No. 726, 155 P.3d 32, 41 (Okla. 2006).

[9] See Dunn v. Blumstein, 405 U.S. 330, 330 (1972); Williams v. Salerno, 792 F.2d 323, 328 (2d Cir. 1986).

[10] Ok. Op. Atty. Gen. No 71-328, 1971 Okla. AG LEXIS 60 (Sep. 9, 1971).

[11] In re Initiative Petition No. 379, State Question No. 726, 155 P.3d 32, 41 (Okla. 2006) (equating residency with “a conscious decision to make a location an individual’s home”).

[12] In re Initiative Petition No. 379, State Question No. 726, 155 P.3d 32, 41

[13] Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 26, § 7-114(a)(4).

[14] Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 26, § 7-114(a)(1)-(3).

[15] Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 26, § 7-114(a).

[16] Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 26, § 7-114(b).

[17] Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 26, § 7-114(b)(2) (2013).

[18] Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 26, § 14-105.

[19] Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 26, § 14-103.

[20] Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 26, § 14-105.

[21] Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 26, § 14-108.

[22] Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 26, § 14-108.

[23] Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 26, § 14-104.

[24] Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 26, § 14-115.4(A); Oklahoma State Election Board, Frequently Asked Questions available at http://www.ok.gov/elections/faqs.html#c97 (last visited Aug. 12, 2014).