Oklahoma entered the US on November 16, 1907. It was officially declared the 46th state on that date. The state capital and largest city in the state is Oklahoma City. Made up of an area just shy of 70,000 square miles, Oklahoma is the 20th biggest state in the US. People who live in the state are known as Oklahomans. Major industries include the growing and harvesting of wheat and the raising of cattle. Oil and natural gas production are major enterprises too.
Major rivers in the state are the Arkansas River, Red River and Canadian River. The highest point is located at Black Mesa, an incline that rises almost 5,000 feet or 1,516 above sea level. Made up of 77 counties, the state is known as the “Sooner State.” The origin of the state’s name comes from the Choctaw Native American word, “okla,” which means people and the word, “humma,” which means red. The state song is the Rodgers and Hammerstein rendition of “Oklahoma” and the state motto is Labor omnia vincit, or “Labor Conquers All Things.” For the felon who lives in Oklahoma, having patience enables them to once again conquer their right to vote.
felons in Oklahoma regain their voting rights once they have served out their sentence, including probation and parole. A convicted felon cannot register to vote for a period that is equal to the time of his or her original sentence. If he or she is pardoned, then registration is allowed.
Felon Voting Law in Oklahoma
According to OKPolicy.org, felons in Oklahoma have their right to vote suspended for the entire lengths of their sentences. Therefore, a felon who is sentenced to seven years in prison but serves three years cannot vote for the total seven years. As of 2010, around 1.8% or approximately 51,500 people could not vote because of this suspension.
While the state ranks above the average nationally for felony convictions, it ranks below the national percentage for revoking voting rights. Oklahoma’s policies for felon disenfranchisement are fairly common across many states. Currently, 20 states revoke the voting rights of felons as Oklahoma does and nine of the states bar felons from the right to vote for life.
The idea of removing one’s civil rights, such as voting or serving on a jury, spans back to colonial times. During that time, crimes that were considered moral in nature, such a drunkenness, called for the need to protect the ballot box from people considered morally corrupt. According to the OKPolicy.org site, taking away voting rights can make it more difficult for reintegration to occur and for a felon to break a cycle of incarceration.
How a Felon in Oklahoma Can Restore Their Voting Rights
Oklahoma will not allow a felon to re-register to vote until the entire term of his or her sentence passes. For example, if a felon is convicted of a crime and sentenced to 5 years in prison but is released after three years’ time, the rights are not reinstated until the 5 years expire. Anyone on probation or parole is not allowed to vote either and must wait until they fulfill the requirements set for restitution.
After all the requirements are met for release from prison or for probation or parole, felons can re-register, provided they are –
· At least 18 years old
· A US citizen
· A resident of Oklahoma
· Judged mentally competent
· Have waited for the allocated time for registration that is related to the original time set forth for their incarceration
In order to register, felons must also provide one of the following IDs:
· An Oklahoma’s driver’s license number; or
· The last four digits of their social security number
Felons may obtain a voter’s registration application online or can obtain the form in person at –
· A county election board
· Post office
· Tag agency or Oklahoma DMV
· A government agency
· Other public location
Voter registration applications should be mailed to the State Election Board. If you fill out a voter registration form at either a tag agency or when applying for assistance at a government agency, the agency will mail in the form to the State Election Board on your behalf. You can find out more about regaining your right to vote and about registration by following this link.
Other Resources For Felons in Oklahoma
Jobs For Felons: If you're a felon looking for a job in Alabama, we have all of the resources you need including job listings by city, companies that hire felons, and our own job board. Click Here to learn more.
Legal Representation: If you're in need of an expungement attorney to try to get rid of your felony in Alabama, or need a criminal lawyer or other type of lawyer, you can get a FREE consultation by clicking here to visit our legal representation page.