Out-of-state students preparing to vote in the November elections will likely need to dig up their voter registration card or U.S. passport if they plan to cast their ballot in Oklahoma. Because of the state’s voter ID law, Oklahoma voters are required to show some form of identification before receiving a ballot. The catch, however, is driver licenses from out of state do not qualify, said Jim Williams, Cleveland County Election Board secretary. “That is another unique feature of the Oklahoma law; it does have to be an Oklahoma driver license,” Williams said. “So if you have an out-of-state driver license, you’ll need some other form of ID for voting.” Other acceptable IDs include a state-issued ID, a U.S. passport, a military ID — all of which are photo IDs — but there is one exception: voter registration cards, he said.
Voter registration cards are issued to everyone after they register to vote. The cards do not have a photograph or an expiration date, but people who present their card will be allowed to vote, according to the Oklahoma State Election Board website. The deadline to register to vote in the upcoming elections is Oct. 12. Although the law states that valid IDs must have the person’s name, photograph and an expiration date, the registration cards only have the voter’s name. The reason the state allows this exception? To provide options to voters — and to protect the state from legal action, Williams said.