POLITICAL ROUNDUP: Local politicos address new voter fraud law

Jan. 8—House Bill 3365 took effect earlier this month. The bill deals with election laws, and local politicos have commented on how it will affect Oklahomans.

The law changes a number of sections in Oklahoma Statute 2021, one of which will automatically revoke voter registration when a voter obtains an out-of-state driver's license.

Dave Spaulding, Cleveland County Republican chair, said that the electoral process has been in need of cleanup for a long time. He believes the bill will help prevent voter fraud.

"This bill addresses some of these needs. One action the bill provides for is that voter registration be revoked when an individual obtains a drivers license in another state," Spaulding said.

"This is simply keeping our elections clean. If someone is living in another state why would they be voting here?"

The law now requires that voters who live in a household with at least four other registered voters must verify their address in writing.

According to Section A of the law, "any voter who is registered to vote and has the same address as five or more other registered voters will be identified within 24 months and be sent notifications to verify their addresses.

State Rep. Jared Deck, D-Norman, said the law will negatively affect Oklahomans by making it more difficult to vote, and that these burdens will disproportionately affect those who are economically disadvantaged.

"As a result of HB 3365, voters can expect more red tape in registering, changing registration, and applying for absentee ballots," Deck said. "It will most likely affect those without access or familiarity to certain technologies."

Because the economically disadvantaged are more likely to live in multi-unit homes and multi-generational dwelling and are more likely to vote Democratic, Deck believes they are a primary target of the GOP.

"Additional verification requirements for addresses with more than five residents may also affect voters living in multi-unit facilities such as nursing homes, assisted living centers and the VA," he said.

Deck also said that he believes that HB 3365 panders to right-leaning conspiracy theories that state that voter fraud is rampant throughout the U.S.

"Oklahoma has one of the best run voting systems in the country. HB 3365 is another example of pandering to conspiracies, interference with your right to vote, and total disregard for our election professionals around the state," he said.

Spaulding said that the law will help assure that Oklahoma remains one of the best-run voting systems in the country.

"I support keeping our elections and the associated processes as clean, updated, and as transparent as possible, without being too onerous on our citizens," he said.

In a Transcript Facebook forum, locals chimed in.

"Legislation is supposedly solving a problem — voter fraud — that didn't exist," said Toni Gentry.

Karen Mables thinks that the law will help deter voter fraud.

"Sounds good to me. I thought that was already the law," she said.