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DECISION 2020: Tulsa County election officials count first batch of absentee ballots

Posted at 7:08 PM, Oct 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-09 20:44:24-04

TULSA — The Tulsa County Election Board counted the first round of absentee ballots at its meeting on Friday. Election officials expect to process over 100,000 mail-in ballots by election day.

“We’re going to be processing overnight and going without sleep, and whatever it takes to get them counted," Tulsa Co. Election Board Secretary Gwen Freeman said.

State and county voters choosing to vote absentee is at record highs due to concerns of coronavirus at polling places.

“This is the year for records," Freeman said.

Freeman and one representative from both the Tulsa Co. Republican Party and Tulsa Co. Democratic Party make up the three-person board. This year, the trio called on nine others to help file through the mail-in ballots.

“Their primary job is to sift through these absentee ballots and set aside the definite "Yes's," Freeman said.

A 'Yes' affidavit includes the voter's signature and a copy of voter ID or a notarization.

If something is wrong with an affidavit, it is presented to the three-member committee where they individually vote to accept the vote or reject it.

“We have a very strict way of verifying that the voter is who they say they are and that’s what makes people feel comfortable about it," Freeman said.

Freeman told 2 Works for You, less affidavits were put up for discussion since voters are now allowed to use their driver's license as a form of identification.

Freeman also said the ballots are counted by a high-speed scanner, but the results are not recorded until Election Day on November 3.

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