Muskogee County Election Board Secretary Kelly Beach today advised voters, candidates, campaign officials, and volunteers to be very aware of — and careful to not violate — state election laws in the February 11 City of Muskogee mayoral and city council election and the Hilldale School Board election next Tuesday. This includes early voting that takes place from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on February 6th and 7th.
Beach said all known election law violations will be reported to the proper law enforcement authorities, usually the county sheriff and district attorney.
“Our precinct officials are going to be watching very closely on election day for illegal electioneering by candidates, zealous campaign staff, and their volunteers. It’s unlawful in Muskogee County and across the State of Oklahoma to electioneer within 300 feet of a ballot box,” he explained.
To electioneer means to work for or against election of a particular candidate, political party, or issue. This includes the illegal placement of any campaign signs inside the 300 feet boundary limit away from the ballot box.
Beach said election law violations sometimes committed accidentally by voters include disclosing how one voted while within the election enclosure or removing a ballot from the polling place.
Other violations by voters include taking a ballot into or out of the polling place or taking intoxicating liquors within half a mile of a polling location. It is unlawful for any person to disclose how he or she voted to any other person while inside the election enclosure. Beach said it also is against the law for anyone other than voters waiting in line to vote and for precinct or other election officials to be within 50 feet of a ballot box during the election.
Citizens can find these and other state election laws in Title 26 of the Oklahoma Statutes. For more about this topic and other Oklahoma election-related information, please visit www.elections.ok.gov.