Oklahoma governor signs absentee voter changes into law

May 7, 2020 GMT

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Gov. Kevin Stitt has signed legislation the Oklahoma Senate passed Thursday that imposes new restrictions on voters who cast absentee ballots by mail.

The bill comes just days after the Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled absentee ballots in Oklahoma don’t need to be notarized.

The bill passed 38-9 along party lines, with Democrats opposed.

Under the bill, for the duration of the COVID-19 state of emergency, voters who wish to submit absentee ballots by mail will need to include a photocopy of their voter registration card or photo identification. Once the emergency declaration is over, absentee voters would then be required to have their ballots notarized by a notary public.

The Supreme Court issued its 6-3 ruling Monday in a case in which the League of Women Voters and two voters at high risk of contracting the coronavirus sued the State Election Board seeking to make it easier for residents to cast ballots by mail.

The court determined a statement signed, dated and made under the penalty of perjury by a voter is adequate for submitting an absentee ballot by mail.