Community , Government

Election Day voting to be held at Osage Nation Civic Center

Photo caption: The Osage Nation Civic Center will serve as the election polling place on June 1. Osage News File Photo

In keeping with social distancing guidelines due to the coronavirus spread, the June 1 Election Day polling location will be at the Osage Nation Civic Center west of downtown Pawhuska.

The Civic Center is located at 1449 W. Main Street and will be open for June 1 Election Day voting from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

The ON Election Board voted to set the Election Day polling location at the Civic Center on March 20. In prior election years, the multi-use building – formerly the Wahzhazhe Cultural Center – served as the polling place before moving to the ON Museum for the 2018 election.

But with the rapidly evolving situation with the coronavirus COVID-19 spread and increases in positive tests in Oklahoma and other states, the Election Board changed the venue to be proactive.

“As a precautionary measure due to the spread of the Coronavirus COVID-19, the Board decided to change the polling location from the museum to the civic center,” said Election Supervisor Alexis Rencountre. “This polling location allows for a larger voting area with voting booths spread apart.”

The Civic Center’s open multi-use space allows for the Election Office to arrange the voting booths in a way to allow voters access with social distancing recommendations. According to the Centers for Disease Control, healthcare professionals recommend people take preventive steps to avoid exposure to the virus, including placing distance between other people.

Also with the coronavirus situation, the Election Office is highly encouraging the Osage public to request absentee ballots for the 2020 election.

The deadline to submit an absentee ballot request form is April 17. The absentee ballot request forms are available on the Election Office website at https://www.osagenation-nsn.gov/what-we-do/elections and the Election Office can be reached toll-free at (877) 560-5286.

As of March 20, Rencountre said her office has received 2,422 absentee ballot requests for the upcoming election.