Voter registration deadline approaching

Lawton_If you're not registered to vote, time is running out.  The deadline to register is January 11.  7News headed down to the Comanche County Election Board and found a steady stream of folks lining up to beat the deadline to take part in the big election coming up February 5.

There are two ways to register for the upcoming local and national elections.  First, you can find forms online - just download them and print them out.  Second, you can find preprinted forms at your county's courthouse.

The ballots are in and the voting machines are lined up, all ready to go for the February election.  Now, it's up to you.  With only a week left to register, time is running out.  And, this coming deadline includes any changes to your address or political party.  "Obviously it's important that people are registered, they participate in the political process, they become informed about what the issues are.  And, be an informed voter," says Comanche County Republican Party Representative Ed Peterson.

Registration is simple, just enter the Comanche County Courthouse through the north side of the building and the election board office is on the right where you'll find the forms.  Fill it out, turn it in, and you're done in a matter of minutes.

An important demographic this election is young voters.  "Young people today never think they'll be middle-aged or old, but one day they will be and what happens in the world today will affect their lives, for the rest of their lives," says Comanche County Democrat Representative and County Commissioner Ron Kirby.

We found 19-year-old Joel Riffle registering to vote for the first time.  "You know we get to make the decisions for America, so it's really important that we get out and vote," he says.  In addition, everyone 7News talked to at the polls said the polls are so accommodating there's no excuse not to vote.

If you are unable to vote February 5, you have other options.  There's always an absentee ballot, which can be picked up at your local courthouse along with in person voting that take place the Friday, Saturday and Monday before the election.

Finally, both the Republican and Democratic parties offer rides to the polls and they'll offer that information closer to the election.  Remember, Oklahoma law says private sector employees are allotted two additional hours during the day to vote if polling places are not open before or after work.  Arrangements must be made with your employer ahead of time, and they can dictate the time of day you are permitted to cast your ballot.