Deadlines are approaching to request an absentee ballot or change party affiliation for the upcoming Bartlesville Public School District and Ramona elections.
On April 5, Bartlesville residents will vote for their BPSD Board of Education choice between incumbent Scott Bilger and opponent Jonathan Bolding. Bilger and Bolding will participate in a debate at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday at the Bartlesville High School Fine Arts Center Auditorium.
Applications for an absentee ballot are due by 5 p.m. on Monday. Voters can apply for an absentee ballot, and do not need a reason for doing so, with the OK Voter Portal or can be downloaded and turned in to the Washington County Election Board in-person, by fax or through email.
The deadline for changing party affiliation is midnight on March 31. The change can be done online, through email, through mail or in person, but cannot be changed again until Aug. 31.
Oklahoma voters can register as Democrat, Republican or Libertarian and can only vote in that party’s primary election. Independents can participate in the primary election of the Democratic Party. All registered voters can participate in a general election.
For more information about the process, contact the county Election Board at 918-337-2850 or [email protected]
In the school board debate, candidates will be asked questions about their qualifications, opinions and plans for the position by moderator Keri Bostwick.
Bolding, a realtor at Chinowth & Cohen, has previously declined to discuss his positions with the E-E, but told Bartlesville Radio in a Monday interview he believes the school board should work closely with parents to coordinate education that is in the best interest of the students.
“An integral part of achieving that goal is providing every student with the appropriate educational materials that will equip and prepare them for a bright and promising future,” Bolding said during the radio’s Community Connection segment.
In a meet-and-greet event in January, Bilger discussed the things achieved by the board during his tenure, including the creation of a STEM lab improving the culture of the school district.
“We’ve made a lot of changes in 12 years and a lot of what I view as dramatic improvements in what we’ve been able to do,” Bilger said during the event.
Moving forward, Bilger said a big focus for the Board of Education will be tackling the ongoing problem of teacher recruitment and retention. To be competitive, he said, BPSD will need to make strides in teacher pay and culture.
Materials supporting one candidate will not be allowed at the Thursday debate.
This article originally appeared on Bartlesville Examiner-Enterprise: Oklahoma April elections: Absentee ballot, party change deadlines soon