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Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt, a Republican, signed legislation this week that extends early voting in the state by a day and changes the timeline for voters to request absentee ballots to ensure they are received in time to be counted, the Oklahoman reports.

Why it matters: The measure comes as other Republican-led states, including Georgia and Florida, pass laws restricting voting access.

Yes, but: "Oklahoma has long stood out as a place with restrictive voting laws," AP reports, noting the state also has a voter ID law and requires that mail-in ballots be notarized.

  • Even with the extra day to cast in-person absentee ballots before a presidential election, Oklahoma’s four days of early voting are "among the fewest in the nation," according to AP.
  • The average early voting period across the U.S. is 19 days, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
  • The new legislation also adds an additional hour of early voting on Saturdays before federal and state elections, per the Oklahoman.

The big picture: Unlike battleground states including Florida and Georgia, Republicans have a a firm grip on Oklahoma.

  • “Oklahoma is very red, and I don’t think this change disproportionately affects either party,” Chad Alexander, a GOP strategist and former chair of the Oklahoma Republican Party, told AP.
  • Some also said the move may help more people get to the polls in a state that saw the lowest voter turnout in the 2020 presidential election, per ElectProject.org.

Oklahoma Democrats welcomed the additional day of early voting, but called on the state to do more, per AP.

  • “It’s a step in the right direction, but it is a very small step,” said state House Minority Leader Rep. Emily Virgin (D). “It’s fairly hard to vote in Oklahoma, as compared to other states. We need to be doing a whole lot more in terms of increasing voter turnout.”

Go deeper: The states weighing voting changes

Go deeper

Teachers across the U.S. protest laws restricting racism lessons

Thousands of teachers and other educators held protests across the U.S. Saturday against the actions of "at least 15 Republican-led states" that aim to restrict teaching about racism in class, the Washington Post reports.

Driving the news: There were demonstrations in at least 22 cities for the "Day of Action" to raise awareness about moves to limit students' exposure to critical race theory, which links racial discrimination to the nation's foundations and legal system, per Axios' Russell Contreras.

Updated 5 hours ago - Health

Lawsuit challenging Houston Methodist's COVID vaccine mandate dismissed

Houston Methodist Hospital in Houston, Texas. Photo: Brandon Bell/Getty Images

A federal judge on Saturday dismissed a lawsuit brought by 117 Houston Methodist staff over the hospital's policy requiring all employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

Why it matters: This is the first federal court ruling on a coronavirus vaccine mandate. Attorney Jared Woodfill, representing the plaintiffs, told KHOU 11 it's "the first battle in a long fight," as he vowed to file another lawsuit soon.

G7 leaders to announce plan to phase out gasoline cars

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson talks next to President Joe Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron at the G7 summit in Carbis Bay, Cornwall, England, on Saturday. Photo: Leon Neal/Getty Images

G7 leaders are set to announce Sunday a range of measures to tackle climate change, including "ending almost all direct government support" for fossil fuels and phasing out gasoline and diesel cars.

Driving the news: The plan was outlined in a British government announcement Saturday, which states that the leaders will also agree to halting "all unabated coal as soon as possible."