Lawton_Some voters officially took sides in Oklahoma on Friday. On Halloween, "In Person Absentee Voting" began, and many braved long lines at the Comanche County Courthouse to vote for their candidates. Election officials say they will be working late into the evening each day of early voting to process all of the ballots.
Voters standing in line on Friday were pumped up about voting, and election officials in Lawton said it was a much bigger turnout than the last Presidential election. The long lines didn't deter anyone who was excited to vote - especially Jay Mannien who was standing in line early in the morning. " I got until November the 4th," he said. "If I got to sit out here until November 4th, that's what I'm gonna do." Mike Gill said he realized how much voting matters. "Every vote's going to count," he said. "It certainly did last time, I think it's going to this time."
Those waiting to vote reported that they waited for about an hour in line, although many thought the line wasn't that long at all compared to others they've seen in the past. Johnny Walker just moved to Oklahoma from Missouri where early voting also takes place. "This line is considerably short compared to Missouri - absolutely."
Election officials say that early voting doesn't ease extra work on election day, though. "It'll be this busy on election day also," said Election Secretary Monica Baughman. "Presidential elections are always busy - there's always a line." But, it's a line that Gill says you should stand in. "It's the very least someone can do in the political process," he said.
If you decide to vote early, you will complete an application before you vote, swear that you have not voted absentee by mail, and also swear that you will not vote again on election day. In person absentee voting will continue at all Oklahoma county election board offices on Saturday, from 8 a.m.-1 p.m. and begin again on Monday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
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