Absentee ballots (copy)

Absentee ballots are sorted in 2014 at the Tulsa County Election Board. MATT BARNARD/Tulsa World file

I just finished voting absentee, and the ballot is either a tragic mistake or an intentional effort to suppress votes. Here are some of the problems.

There are two pages of instructions and a page of warnings, threatening felonies. This may frighten some people out of voting.

The instructions mention COVID-19 twice, though it has nothing to do with the instructions.

It requires stamps but doesn’t say how many. The postage should be free.

There are three types of acceptable voter ID. The sentence explaining these is grammatically correct, but long, convoluted and confusing.

The voter must have access to a means of copying their ID.

The voter gets either a pink striped or yellow striped affidavit but gets instructions for both. That can create confusion.

There are three return envelopes. One goes inside another, and those two go inside the third one. Confusing.

Instructions say to attach the copy of the ID, but not how or where to attach it.

The voter has to fill in the date of the election on the affidavit. It should be printed on the affidavit.

Some people don’t read well. Some people have trouble following multi-step instructions. Some may be confused by complex language like “absentee voter verification.”

Even for well-educated voters with business experience, there are numerous ways to submit a ballot that won’t be counted.

This design is confusing and will result in widespread voter suppression. It must be changed by the Legislature.

Letters to the editor are encouraged. Send letters to letters@tulsaworld.com.


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