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5 THINGS TO KNOW: Deadline nears to change political party affiliation

Mar. 21—Pittsburg County Election Board Secretary Tonya Barnes reminds voters the deadline is nearing to change political party affiliation.

1 When is the absolute deadline for voters to change the affiliation of their political party?

Oklahoma voters who want to change their party affiliation must submit their change by March 31. Political party affiliation can be changed online using the OK Voter Portal at oklahoma.gov/elections/ovp. It can also be changed by completing a new Voter Registration Application.

2 If you miss the deadline, when is the next chance for voters to change political party affiliation?

Following March 31, no political party changes are allowed from April 1 through August 31 during even-numbered years, such as 2024. Requests received after March 31 will be held and processed in September, as required by law.

3 Which political parties are recognized by the Election Board in Oklahoma?

Three political parties are recognized in Oklahoma: Republican, Democratic and Libertarian. Registered Independents are not considered members of a political party in Oklahoma.

4 Can voters cast a ballot for members of another political party during an Oklahoma Primary Election?

Voters are required to be a registered member of a party in order to vote in that party's Primary Election in Oklahoma. Independents may participate in a primary election, but only when a political party officially requests its elections be opened to Independent voters. Only the Democratic Party allows currently allows Independents to vote in its primary elections.

During a General Election, all registered voters can vote for any candidate on the ballot regardless of political affiliation.

5 How is a Voter Registration Application obtained?

They can be downloaded from the State Election Board website at oklahoma.gov/elections. Also, Voter Registration Applications are available at the Pittsburg County Election Board Office, which is now at its new location at 7 E. Chickasaw Ave. in McAlester. Office hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Anyone with questions can contact the County Election Board by phone at 918-423-3877 or online at pittsburgcounty@elections.ok.gov.

—James Beaty