May 4, 2020
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Joe Dorman, CEO – Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy
Telephone: (405) 833-1117
OICA Applauds Court Decision on Absentee Ballots
OKLAHOMA CITY – Joe Dorman, chief executive officer of the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy, released the following statement in the wake of the Oklahoma Supreme Court’s decision in the case of The League of Women Voters, Angela Zea Patrick, and Peggy Jeanne Winton v. Paul Ziriax, Secretary of the State Election Board which allows voters to self-notarize absentee ballots in this year’s elections:
“This was a courageous, and more importantly, correct decision by the majority of the Court to allow voters to self-notarize their ballots. This will allow absentee voters to remain in their homes to cast their ballots without having to risk exposure to COVID-19 to get their ballots notarized. It is a victory not only for the plaintiffs, but for democracy.
“Barriers to vote, like the absentee requirement, do more to disenfranchise those whose voices should most be heard, including senior Oklahomans. This is a victory for them as now they do not have to risk illness or even death to exercise their most precious right and duty.
“I know there will be some in the Legislature’s final few weeks who will try to undo this positive step. That would be both foolhardy and show a callous disrespect for Oklahoma’s absentee voters – especially senior citizens and those who are immunocompromised.
“OICA was among the first groups saying the notarization requirement was unnecessary. The penalty for abusing this process is the same as it was on a notarized ballot. If the penalty is the same, why is it less secure now? The truth is it is not less secure, and Oklahomans can be confident in the integrity of their elections.
“OICA congratulates the plaintiffs for their courage and persistence in making government do what is right for all the people of the state.”