The Oklahoma State Election Board secretary has issued an emergency declaration that will impact elections in Bryan County.


The elections were scheduled for April 7.


The emergency declaration was issued March 18 in response to the COVID-19 health crisis.


Its impact was confirmed March 27 by Bryan County Election Board Secretary Kimberly Norris.


The election emergency allowed all entities, including those with statutory school board member elections, to reschedule their April 7 elections to another date allowed by law.


According to Norris, several elections have been postponed and rescheduled for June 30, including the elections for Seat 5 for both the Achille and Rock Creek public schools boards.


Also rescheduled are the special proposition elections for the towns of Achille and Bokchito.


Absentee ballots that had previously been issued for the April 7 election are no longer considered valid and the county elections board advises that they should be destroyed.


Voters who had been issued an absentee ballot for the April 7 election, and who are currently signed up to receive absentee ballots for all 2020 elections in which they are eligible to vote, can expect to be issued a new ballot for the June 30 election.


However, voters who applied for an absentee ballot for the April 7 election only must submit a new absentee ballot request for the June 30 election in order to vote in the rescheduled elections.


Absentee ballots can be requested online via the OK Voter Portal at ok.gov/elections/OVP.html. Applications can be downloaded at ok.gov/elections/Voter_Info/Absentee_Voting/index.html.


The Bryan County Courthouse is currently closed to the public. However, the county election board office, at 402 W. Evergreen St Ste A-2 in Durant, continues to conduct business by phone, email and mail during business hours that may be modified.


Calls and emails will be returned in a timely manner, according to a press release.


Voters who must conduct business in person can contact the Bryan County Election Board at 580-924-3228 or bryancounty@elections.ok.gov to make arrangements.


Voters may visit the Oklahoma State Election Board website, at ok.gov, for additional information.