Friday, January 21, 2022

State Rep. Eric Roberts files trio of voter security measures

Rep. Eric Roberts Files Trio of Voting Bills

OKLAHOMA CITY – Rep. Eric Roberts, R-Oklahoma City, has filed three bills designed to make absentee ballot requests more secure and to facilitate earlier identification of voters who have moved or are now deceased. 

"Oklahomans want an election process that is secure, reliable and efficient," Roberts said. "I am proud to spearhead this legislation in the House."

House Bill 3364 requires online absentee ballot requests include identification in addition to a voter's name and birth date. Identification may include their driver's license number, state identification number or the last four of their Social Security number. Under the bill, voters who registered prior to the requirement for additional identification information may submit a paper absentee ballot request or reregister to vote with the additional identification.

Roberts also filed House Bill 3365 and House Bill 3366 to facilitate earlier identification of voters who have moved or are now deceased.

HB3365 requires the cancellation of the voter registration if the associated driver's license was surrendered to the Oklahoma Dept. of Public Safety upon the voter being issued a driver's license in another state. It also adds a new group of voters to the address confirmation process, which is performed in odd-numbered years. Voters with the same address of residence as five or more other voters will be sent an address confirmation. 

HB3365 also requires voter registration cards be mailed to the physical registration address if the address is valid for mail delivery. If the physical address is not valid for mail delivery, then the designated mailing address will continue to be used. If voter registration cards are returned as undeliverable, then the voter will be required to complete an address confirmation before receiving a ballot in the next eligible election that they vote in.

Roberts said this process is designed for earlier identification of voters who have moved and not changed their voter registration address.

HB3366 requires that Oklahoma death certificates include the last four of the decedent's Social Security number and either their driver's license number or state identification number.

Matching death certificates to voter registrations using name and birth date can yield multiple matches, which doesn't provide the needed certainty that the correct registration has been located.  The addition of identification greatly increases the accuracy of matching.  The voter registration cannot be removed unless a definite match for the death certificate is located.    

Roberts said that this additional information will facilitate the matching of death certificates to the related voter registrations. 

All three bills are available for consideration in the upcoming legislative session, which begins February 7 at noon with a State of the State address from Gov. Kevin Stitt.


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