OKC VeloCity | Candidate filing is Dec. 7-9 for Feb. 9 OKC Council election for Wards 1, 3, 4 and 7

Candidate filing is Dec. 7-9 for Feb. 9 OKC Council election for Wards 1, 3, 4 and 7

By Staff Reports / Inside OKC / November 20, 2020

Candidates may file Dec. 7-9 to run for the Oklahoma City Council seats in Wards 1, 3, 4, and 7, with voting in the primary election set for Feb. 9.

The nonpartisan election will decide who represents those Wards on the Council for the next four-year term, which ends in April 2025. See a Ward map at okc.gov/WardMap.

Recent voter-approved amendments to the Oklahoma City Charter are not yet in effect and do not apply to the 2021 City Council election. The Oklahoma State Election Board’s certification of election results, and the Governor of Oklahoma’s formal acceptance of the City Charter amendments, had yet to occur before the Council voted to call the election. The 2021 election will take place under existing City ordinances, and federal and state law, like all recent City Council elections.

The City Council has nine members: the Mayor, who is elected citywide, and one member from each of Oklahoma City’s eight Wards. They serve part-time at the head of the City’s Council-Manager form of government. The Mayor’s annual salary is $24,000, and each Council member’s annual salary is $12,000.

Candidate qualifications

A candidate for Oklahoma City Council must be:

  • a U.S. citizen
  • at least 21 years old
  • a resident of, and registered voter in, the Ward in which they are running for at least 6 months before filing as a candidate.

Candidates must submit a written declaration of candidacy, along with how the candidate wants their name to appear on the ballot.

Candidates must include a cashier’s or certified check for $200, or a petition supporting the filing signed by at least 500 registered voters eligible to vote for the candidate. The check will be returned if the candidate is unopposed, receives more than 15% of the votes cast in the primary election, or advances to the general election.

Candidates must file their declaration of candidacy and check or petition to the Oklahoma County Election Board, 4201 N Lincoln Blvd., Oklahoma City, OK 73105-5210, (405) 713-1515.

Candidates may call the City Clerk at (405) 297-2397 or visit the elections page on okc.gov for details.

About the election

After candidate filing, how the election proceeds in each Ward depends on the number of candidates:

  • If only one qualified candidate files to run, that candidate is automatically elected to office.
  • If two qualified candidates file to run, the winner of the Feb. 9 primary election is elected to office.
  • If three or more qualified candidates file to run, the Feb. 9 primary election determines whether a runoff on April 6 is necessary.
    • If a candidate earns more than half the votes on Feb. 9, they are elected to office.
    • If no candidate earns more than half the votes on Feb. 9, the two candidates with the most votes advance to a runoff on April 6. The runoff winner is elected to office.

Winners take office April 13.

Voting information

All Oklahoma City voters in Wards 1, 3, 4 and 7 who are registered by Jan. 15 will be eligible to cast a ballot in the Feb. 9 primary election. Voters in those Wards registered at their current address are already eligible.

Visit okc.gov/WardMap to see an interactive Ward map.

To check or update your registration status, use the Oklahoma State Election Board’s Online Voter Portal at ok.gov/elections/ovp. Find your polling place on your voter ID card or using the portal.

To register to vote, use the portal’s voter registration wizard to complete your application online, then print, sign and mail it to your local county election board. You can also download a voter registration application at ok.gov/elections, or get one at your county election board, post offices, tag agencies, libraries and other public locations.

Voters who have disabilities can find more information about voter assistance in Oklahoma at ok.gov/elections.

State law requires proof of identity to vote. Acceptable forms of ID are a voter ID card, driver’s license or another form of ID issued by the federal government, state government or federally recognized tribal government. Voters may also cast a provisional ballot by proving their identity with a signed, sworn affidavit, which is available at the polling station.

The deadline to request an absentee ballot to vote by mail in the Feb. 9 primary election is 5 p.m. Feb. 2. You can request an absentee ballot using the voter portal at ok.gov/elections/ovp, or download an absentee ballot request form at ok.gov/elections to print, sign and return to your county election board.

Overseas voters, including military members, can get more information about overseas absentee voting at ok.gov/elections.

Early voting for the special election is 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Feb. 4-5 at your local county election board:

Regular voting is 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Feb. 9 at your usual polling location.

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