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voting

"When is the deadline to register to vote in the general election?"

"What races will be on my ballot?"

"Can I vote early, or by mail?"

These are the kinds of questions answered by the 2016 Oklahoma Voter Guide, published by a partnership of news media, including KGOU, and nonprofit organizations. The guide is a non-partisan resource to help Oklahoma voters know who and what will be on the ballot Nov. 8. The League of Women Voters of Oklahoma and the Kirkpatrick Foundation spearheaded the effort.

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For the first time in Oklahoma history, Republicans have surpassed Democrats in voter registration, following a trend in state politics that has been taking place for decades.

Figures released Tuesday by the Oklahoma Election Board show Republicans with an 806-voter edge over Democrats in registration. Of the more than 2 million registered voters, Republicans and Democrats both top 43 percent, with about 13 percent registered as independents.

Brian Hardzinski / KGOU

Voters have until Wednesday, Aug. 20 to request an absentee ballot for the Aug. 26 Runoff Primary Election, Oklahoma State Election Board Secretary Paul Ziriax said. Applications for absentee ballots can be downloaded from the Oklahoma State Election Board or picked up at any of the state's 77 county election boards. Completed absentee ballots must be received by mail at county election boards by 7 p.m. on Election Day, Aug. 26. Those who want to vote early in person can do so Thursday, Friday or Saturday.

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Polls are opening at county election boards across the state for the first of three days of early voting ahead of Tuesday's primary election.

Beginning at 8 a.m. Thursday, voters can cast their ballots for several races, including Democratic and Republican primaries in the race for Oklahoma's open U.S. Senate seat. Only Republicans and Democrats can vote in primaries in Oklahoma.

Early voting will continue at county election boards from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday and from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday.

As part of our "She Votes" series about women and politics in this mid-term election year, we posted a question on Instagram and Twitter.

"What or who first got you interested in politics? Share your memories and show us the person, thing, or event that made you pay attention or become active, using the hashtag #shevotes."

mrsdkrebs / Flickr.com

The Oklahoma Election Board says the number of registered voters in the state has fallen to just under 2 million.

Election Board Secretary Paul Ziriax released the agency's annual voter registration statistics Wednesday. They show the state has 1,978,812 registered voters including 885,609 Democrats, 854,329 Republicans, 238,870 independents and four Americans Elect registrants.

The total is down slightly from just more than 2 million registered voters in the state in 2012.

Voters line up in Tulsa for early voting - October 31, 2008.
thefixer / Flickr Creative Commons

The days for early voting are changing in Oklahoma, thanks to a new state law.

Beginning this week, voters can cast in-person absentee ballots at their county election board offices on Thursday and Friday before an election.

Early voting on Saturdays will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., but only for state and federal elections. Because next week's election is a special election, not state or federal, there will be no early voting on Saturday.

Previously, early voting days were Friday, Saturday and Monday. The new state law took effect last week.

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Election officials say the number of independent voters has outpaced Republicans and Democrats in new voter registrations this year.

In March, Election Board officials removed about 145,000 inactive voters from the rolls. According to the Tulsa World, independents have added 4,582 new voters since then.

Republicans have added 1,544 new voters, while Democrats have decreased by 3,306.