The Oklahoma State Conference of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People announced its opposition to a law Oklahoma state legislators quickly passed last week that requires mail-in votes to be notarized.
The law quickly followed the Oklahoma Supreme Court striking down a previous law that required notarization for mail-in ballots.
Citing concerns over voter fraud, the House and Senate quickly passed the new law less than four days later. The law requires two witnesses for each vote and a notary public. During the coronavirus pandemic, voters can send in a photocopy of their state identification.
The NAACP said the new law amounts to voter suppression and violates the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments.
“We believe this new law is purposely intended to intimidate racial minorities from voting by mail,” the state’s NAACP branch stated in a release. “It deliberately imposes a discriminatory trade off, which exposes a third party to the absentee ballots, versus when the in-person voter, can keep their voting choice private at the ballot box.”
The group vowed to fight the new law in court.
Meanwhile, the state Election Board’s three-month investigation showed that only 18 people out of Oklahoma’s 4 million population attempted to vote illegally in 2016, according to reporting from readfrontier.org.
“I have no idea what the disposition (of each case) is,” state Election Board Spokesman Bryan Dean told the Frontier. “Most of the time double voting is not prosecuted because it happened by accident and they (the DAs) don’t want to go after a little old lady who voted twice.”