By: Lorrie Ward Jackson | Category: Special Interest | Issue: August 2011
Julie Dermody, secretary of the Rogers County Election Board, with boxes of counted and stored ballots.
The year 2012 will usher in a new presidential election, and Rogers County Election Board Secretary Julie Dermody wants to point out some major changes that will affect the next voting season.
“There are several important things for voters to know about, and the first concerns voter identification,” says Dermody. “Voters must remember to have their registration identification or a government-issued photo identification when they come to the polling place.” Acceptable forms of identification include a valid driver’s license, state identification card, or the County Election Board issued Voter Identification Card. Oklahoma voters recently passed a proof of identity law, which went into effect July 1, 2011, and the rules will be strictly enforced, so it is especially important that voters be prepared when they come to the polling place. With-out proof of identity, a person will only be able to vote by provisional ballot.
Another important change Dermody would like to note involves the date for the Presidential Preference Primary. In previous years, this election has been held in February, but next year it will be held on March 6. The dates were changed in order to give military personnel stationed across the nation and abroad time to get their ballots in. Dermody points out that this is a very positive change because it gives the military time to get their ballots done, as it takes an extra amount of time and effort to accomplish this. “It takes so many days to get the ballots ready, send them overseas, and get them mailed back,” says Dermody. “We just needed more time to be able to complete the process.”
The primaries for state and local elections will be held June 26, 2012, and the Runoff Election will be held August 28, 2012. The general election will be held November 6, 2012, the first Tuesday of the month, as in previous years.
Dermody encourages everyone not only to check registration deadlines for elections, but resolution deadlines as well, especially if the person desires to run for office or change their party affiliation in order to run for office. “If you are going to change party affiliation and run, you must do this six months before the election date,” she explains. “Also, in the past a prospective candidate would file to run for office on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday – that has now changed to Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.”
“All of these date changes snowball, with everything affecting the other,” says Dermody. She does everything within her power to keep the public aware of such changes. That is the reason she has started a Facebook for the Rogers County Election Board, which she updates frequently, posting needed filing dates, filings, and election results. This is just one part of the Election Board’s effort to keep voters informed and the election process running smoothly and with integrity.
“We at the Rogers County Election Board want to make sure we stay aboveboard in all that we do,” states Dermody. “We want to make sure the voters have confidence that their vote is being accounted for.”