Community , Government

Absentee ballot requests due by April 17 to vote in 2020 election

Osages planning to vote as absentee voters in the June 1 Osage Nation General Election must submit absentee ballot request forms to the Election Office by April 17.

The absentee ballot request deadline is among important dates set by the ON Election Board for the 2020 general election. The June 1 ballot will include candidate choices for the Seventh ON Congress with six seats opening and at least two ballot questions.

On April 27, the Election Office staff will begin mailing out absentee ballots from Pawhuska to those who requested them by the deadline. Afterward, voters must send their completed ballots back in the supplied envelope, which must be received in the Pawhuska Post Office by June 1 to be counted that day.

Absentee ballot request forms can be downloaded from the ON Election Office voter forms website at: https://www.osagenation-nsn.gov/what-we-do/elections/voter-information

The ON Election Office can be reached toll-free at (877) 560-5286 for questions and to receive an emailed copy of the voter forms. The office also provides forms for voter registration, updating a mailing address and information on participating in the voter privacy program.

The ON Election Office website also includes an instructional video on submitting an absentee ballot once it arrives for voter consideration.

Absentee ballots will arrive with an instruction sheet to follow, as well as a signature receipt, business reply envelope (with paid postage) and separate envelope for only the absentee ballot.

“It is recommended that you mail your absentee ballot at least 10 days prior to Election Day, but the earlier the better – mark your calendars,” the instructional video stated. Ballots that are not signed or unenclosed will be considered void.

The Osage election code also allows eligible voters who received absentee ballots in the mail but instead wishes to vote in-person to do so, but the absentee ballot must be surrendered on Election Day or the voter must sign an affidavit stating they requested an absentee ballot but did not vote it.  

Voters must mail the absentee ballot to the Pawhuska address provided on the business reply envelope to be counted. Absentee ballots mailed to any address other than the address designated by the Election Board shall be considered void, according to the election code.

All mailed absentee ballots will be kept at the Pawhuska Post Office until Election Day. At 10 a.m. that morning, the Election Office will pick up the absentee ballots with an ON Police Department escort and the absentee ballots will be transported to the polling site to be counted with in-person ballots.