For most of those voting in the Sept. 13 city primary, this election will be the first requiring voters to present identification at polling places. The new law, approved in a statewide referendum last November, was actually in place for an Aug. 9 franchise vote. Only 3,410 voters turned out for that election, so the city primary will be the city’s first widespread experience with voter ID.
The law requires voters to present identification containing a name, photograph and expiration date that is after the date of the election.
Exceptions, however, are allowed for those carrying only a voter identification card, which does not have a photo, and for those older than 65 with a state identification card. Those cards do not have an expiration date.
In general, acceptable forms of identification include: Oklahoma driver’s license, state identification card, passport, military identification, or a state voter identification card.
A tribal membership card would also be acceptable, but it must include a photograph and expiration date. Shelly Boggs of the Tulsa County Election Board said she knows of no tribal cards that meet those criteria.
“That doesn’t mean there aren’t any,” Boggs said. “I just haven’t been able to find any.”
Boggs said names on identification cards must “substantially conform” to those on the voter rolls. Addresses will not be checked. Boggs said small name variations “like ‘Robert’ and ‘Bob’ will not be an issue,” she said.
Boggs said the voters most likely to encounter difficulty will be women whose names have recently changed because of marriage or divorce. Even that, she said, is not going to be a big problem.
“They’ll still be able to cast a provisional ballot,” she said. “According to the state election board, if they provide the correct information in the affidavit they fill out, their ballot will count.”