As the popularity of early voting continues to rise, some lawmakers are reviving a plan to make it easier for Oklahomans to vote. But they likely will run into continued resistance that has given Oklahoma the shortest in-person early-voting period among the many states that allow early voting. Senate Minority Leader Kay Floyd, D-Oklahoma City, said Senate Democrats are preparing legislation that would extend the time voters have to cast ballots through the in-person absentee option. Oklahoma currently has the shortest early voting period of the 37 states that offer early voting. State law allows voters to cast in-person absentee ballots on three days before Election Day: from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursday and Friday and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday.
Other states provide up to 45 days to vote at an election or satellite polling place. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, the average early-voting period for the states that allow it is 19 days.
Details of Floyd’s proposal still are being worked out, including whether it will mirror a bill that failed earlier this year that would simply extend early voting by three hours on Saturday or be a more substantial measure by increasing the number of days for voters to visit their polling locations.
Floyd said any progress on making voting more convenient is a worthwhile effort.