For Immediate Release: April 20, 2012
Sen. John Ford
Sen. Ford pleased that protecting voting integrity is gaining
attention in Oklahoma
State Sen. John
Ford said he is gratified that Oklahoma is continuing to pursue
ways to further ensure the integrity of the state’s election
process. Ford, who represents Washington, Nowata and northern
Rogers counties, was the author of a state question requiring
voters to provide identification when casting their ballots. The
proposed law was overwhelmingly approved by voters in 2010.
This session Ford authored legislation dealing with notary publics
and absentee ballots following charges against a notary public
accused of fraud in Adair County. Senate Bill 1466 limits how
many absentee ballots a single notary can notarize and prevents
notaries from requesting or mailing those ballots unless they
are for themselves or someone in their household. It also requires
them to keep a log of all notarized absentee ballots for two years
following an election. The measure was approved by the Legislature
and signed into law by the Governor earlier this month.
“The voter fraud case in Adair County has now ended with
the notary public involved having pled no contest,” Ford
said. “I’m very pleased that law enforcement and prosecutors
have this crime on their radar, and that Oklahoma voters, legislators
and our Governor are concerned about it as well.”
Ford worked with state and local election officials on the legislation,
which was co-authored by State Sen. Jim
Wilson, D-Tahlequah. Wilson said before SB 1466, a single
notary could easily obtain enough absentee ballots to change the
outcome of local elections.
“This legislation will help curtail this kind of abuse and
fraud,” Wilson said.