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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

Dozens of Texas House Dems challenge legitimacy of re-established quorum

Texas state Rep. Senfronia Thompson (D) with fellow Texas state representatives at a press conference on voting rights in Washington, D.C. Photo: Kevin Dietsch via Getty Images

More than 30 Texas House Democrats on Friday tore into a handful of their fellow Democrats, who returned to the capital this week, and accused Republicans of lying about the number of legislators present to re-establish quorum.

Why it matters: More than 50 House Democrats fled the state in July to prevent the GOP from passing new voting restrictions and urge federal action on voting rights. The 38-day standoff ended on Thursday after a small minority returned to the capital to continue the fight "from the inside."

Right-wingers making McCarthy sweat for future Speaker post

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy stands with his Republican colleagues outside the House on Nov. 17. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Right-wing elements in the Republican Party are complicating House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy's attempts to become the next speaker of the House should the GOP take back the majority in 2022.

Why it matters: While McCarthy has worked carefully to build trust among the conservatives who tanked his chances at clinching the speakership in 2015, they're still circling ahead of the next Speaker vote in January 2023.

2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Congress sprints to meet crush of deadlines

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Congressional leaders have been pushing off vital action for months — and a lot of it will catch up with them in December, which begins Wednesday.

Driving the news: Funding for the federal government is set to expire at midnight on Friday. There are also consequential deadlines related to the debt limit, President Biden's agenda and annual actions like voting on the National Defense Authorization Act.