Before the holidays, I attended the Sequoyah County Democratic Christmas dinner. I met a gentleman there whose name I will keep private … but I will never forget him.
He and I chatted before the buffet line got started, and he told me that he had been a deputy sheriff when Drew was District Attorney in Muskogee County. He said they worked on some cases together. After dinner we talked again. He told me he had applied for absentee ballots for the whole year.
He said he hoped to vote for Drew in 2018. Then he went on to say he was in cancer treatment, his doctors hadn’t offered much hope, and he honestly didn’t know what the future held. But he had applied for the ballots just in case he was ill on any of the election days. I hugged him hard and told him that I hoped he could cast those votes, too, and more importantly, that he would be in my thoughts and prayers. His story was heartbreaking and his continued devotion to staying involved with his state and country was humbling.
We can all follow his example and request absentee ballots for the whole year. None of us knows what the future holds, really. Any of us could be ill or unexpectedly out of town. Or perhaps the weather or our work demands could make it difficult to get to the polls. Who knows? But by having absentee ballots mailed to us for the entire year, we don’t have much of an excuse for not voting.
Drew and I always request our ballots this way. We like being reminded of all the elections well in advance, and to read the ballot ahead of time (particularly those state questions). If you enjoy going to your polling place on election day like I do, you still can. The precinct official will give you a form to sign saying you didn’t vote your absentee ballot, and then you go ahead and vote in person.
In 2018, your absentee ballots will allow you to vote in the primary this summer as well as the general election in November. Your request will also cover any municipal elections or school elections in your area. They are often held on dates other than the primary and general election. It’s this easy to request an absentee ballot for the entire year:
- Visit https://services.okelections.us/AbsenteeApplication/ and complete the information requested.
- Make sure to check the box that asks if you wish to have absentee ballots for all elections in the calendar year, rather than just for one specific election.
- At the bottom of the page tap “Continue” and you will be directed to a few more automated steps.
- You’re done! The request can be successfully completed in just a minute or two.
If my new friend in Sequoyah County, with all the burdens he carries on his shoulders, can take a few moments to ensure he continues to be a good citizen, we all can. If you’re reading this blog electronically, then you can visit the website I listed above right now. Do it! I hope you will, and thank you so much.