As the 2012 election year begins, the Oklahoma Legislature is considering a bill that would require Notaries to maintain a log of all absentee ballot affidavits they notarize for a period of at least two years after the date of the election.
The proposed legislation, Senate Bill 1466, would also limit Notaries from notarizing more than 20 absentee ballot affidavits each for a single election. If the bill becomes law, Oklahoma Notaries could fulfill both requirements by keeping an accurate journal of Notarial Acts.
The Oklahoma legislature is pursuing the measure in an effort to cut down on fraud related to election petitions, filing papers and affidavits. Notaries in many states are asked to authenticate a variety of documents in election cycles, and those documents are often questioned, and sometimes abused.
In a recent Michigan case, two political workers pleaded no contest to charges of adding Tea Party candidates to a local ballot using forged and fraudulently notarized nomination documents. Both were put on probation and one was ordered to pay over $2,500 in fines.