EARLY VOTING UNDERWAY

Voters will go to the polls Tuesday for the Primary Election, Major County Election Board Secretary Sharie Smith said last week.

Smith reminds all voters to please keep the following information and tips in mind as the election approaches.

• Any Voter may vote during early voting at the Major County Election Board office, first floor in the Major County Courthouse, 500 East Broadway in Fairview.

• Early voting will be available from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

June 21-22. Early voting will also be available for this election on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

• Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday. Lines are possible at peak voting times. Wait times will likely be shortest at mid-morning and mid-afternoon. Anyone in line to vote at 7 p.m. will be allowed to cast a ballot.

• Anyone who needs to look up their polling place, verify their registration information, or view a sample ballot can do so online. The Online Voter Tool can be accessed on the Oklahoma State Election Board’s website: www.elections.ok.gov. Those who vote by mail can also check the status of their ballot using the Online Voter Tool. Sample ballots are also available at the County Election Board office.

• Oklahoma law requires every voter who votes in person at the precinct polling place or during early voting at the County Election Board to show proof of identity before receiving a ballot.

There are three ways for voters to prove their identity under the law (only one proof of identity is required): Show a valid photo ID issued by federal, state, or tribal government; or show the free voter identification card issued to every voter by the County Election Board; or sign an affidavit and vote a provisional ballot. (If the information on the affidavit matches official voter registration records, the ballot will be counted after Election Day.)

• Physically disabled voters who cannot enter the polling place, need help marking their ballots, blind or visually disabled voters and illiterate voters may be assisted by a person the voter chooses. In all cases, a person providing such assistance may not be the voter’s employer or an agent of the employer or an officer or agent of the voter’s union.

A person providing assistance also must swear or affirm that the voter’s ballots will be marked in accordance with the voter’s wishes. Alternatively, all blind, visually impaired, and physically disabled voters in Major County may use the audio-tactile interface (ATI), a feature offered on all Oklahoma voting devices, to vote privately and independently, either at Major County Election Board during early voting or at their assigned polling place on election day.

• Voters who have moved since the last election, but who have not transferred their voter registration to their new address, may do so on Election Day by going to vote at the polling place where their registration has been in the past. While voting, they may fill out a form instructing the County Election Board to transfer their registration to the new address before the next election.

• Those who became physically incapacitated after 5 p.m. Tuesday June 19 still can request an emergency absentee ballot. Those who might qualify for an emergency absentee ballot should contact the County Election Board office at 580-227-4520 as soon as possible for more information.

• Any violation of election law will be reported to the proper law enforcement authorities. Electioneering is not allowed within 300 feet of a ballot box. It is also unlawful to remove a ballot from the polling location, possess intoxicating liquors within half a mile of a polling place or to disclose how you voted while within the election enclosure.

For additional election-related information, visit: www.elections.ok.gov.

Polling places open for the election include:

Fairview – Mennonite Brethren Church, 1600 East State Road and the Fairview Community Center (please enter through the east doors).

Ringwood – Community Fair Building, 310 North Main.

Waynoka – Cimarron Club House, 36237 S. County Road 229.

Chester – Chester Community Center, 22040 Highway 281.

Ames – Ames City Hall, 106 E Corp. Drive (Precincts 470015 and 470016).

See sample ballots on page 8.

Along with a multitude of statewide primary elections, the ballot measure for medical marijuana, voters in Major County will also be voting on several issues that could greatly affect business of the county in the future.

First key issue up for consideration is the continuation of two sales tax issues.

Locally, voters will be deciding whether or not to continue two separate sales tax initiatives that help fund operations at the Major County Fairgrounds and Major County Courthouse, in addition to voting for County Commissioners in District #1 and #3 and for Major County Treasurer.

District 3 Commissioner Travis Rohla previously stated the continuation of the sales tax, in particular the courthouse maintenance and operation sales tax, will continue to make it possible to maintain the nearly 100 year old structure for many years to come.

Information of the sales tax continuation propositions:

Currently there is a one-quarter of one cent sales tax that will expire March 31, 2019. Money from that sales tax currently funds the following:

• The required county portion of financial support to the OSU Cooperative Extension Service and 4-H program in Major County.

• Upgrades, upkeep and maintenance of equipment and facilities of the fairgrounds in Major County and financial support to the Major County Free Fair and Jr. Livestock Show.

• Capital improvements and capital upgrades of the county courthouse in Major County.

Oklahoma HB 2248 which went into effect Jan. 1, 2016 called for every sale tax levy submitted to county voters for approval to embrace only one subject, and for the subject to be clearly expressed on the ballot.

Therefore, in order to renew the sales tax being levied for these three purposes stated above, they must now be divided into three separate questions.

Sept. 12, of last year, Major County voters approved a renewal for the portion to fund the OSU Cooperative Extension Service and 4-H program in Major County with a one-sixteenth of one cent county sales tax.

The two propositions on the June 26 ballot are for the remainder of the current one quarter of one cent as follows:

Proposition 1 – Levying three thirty-seconds of one cent (.09375) county sales tax for the purpose of upgrade, upkeep and maintenance and equipment and facilities of the county fairgrounds in Major County, Major County Fair Board, Free Fair, and Jr. Livestock Events. Funds will be used for operating the fairgrounds facilities and conducting fairs. Funds may be used for personal service, part-time help, travel, maintenance and operation, capital outlay and premiums and awards. The effective date would be April 1, 2019 and be for an unlimited duration unless terminated by a vote of the people.

The purposes listed above are what the current tax being levied is providing. It also provided for the remodel of the exhibit building and allows the Major County Fair Board to conduct shows and events that support both youth and adult exhibitors form across the county.

The unlimited duration is being sought to allow for upkeep and maintenance of the Exhibit Building which was remodeled in 2014, and for the new Expo Center which is being constructed.

Proposition 2 – Levying three thirty-seconds of one cent (.09375) county sales tax on the gross receipts of allowable sales as defined by the following information: for the purpose of capital improvements, capital upgrades and maintenance and operations of the county courthouse in Major County. The effective date would be April 1, 2019 and would have a duration of seven years, expiring March 31, 2026.

The purposes listed above are what the current tax being levied is providing as well. It continues to be less expensive to maintain upkeep on the current courthouse than to seek funds for building a new one.

After the seven year duration, the tax can be revisited and changed if deemed necessary.

The sales tax continuation propositions will be among many key issues on the June 26 ballot which includes elections for Major County District 1 and 3 Commissioner, Major County Treasurer, Gubernatorial primary and the Medical Marijuana issue.

Aside from the sales tax measures, Major County voters will also be voting for three county races.

After Major County Treasurer Darinda Edwards announced she would not seek reelection, voters in the county will have the duty of naming her replacement.

Current Major County Clerk’s Office employee LuAnne Detrick and Major County Emergency Management Director Tresa Lackey have both filed for the vacant position.

With no Democratic challenger, the winner will assume the role of Major County Treasurer the first part of July 2019. The Treasurer position is the only position up for election that will see the winner take a year to be sworn in, as it is based

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