State Sen. George Young, D-Oklahoma City, has filed Senate Bill 480, which would modify the state’s requirement to become a public notary.
Under the measure, a felony conviction would not be grounds for disqualifying a person or removing a person as a notary unless the conviction was for a felony crime that relates to the provisions of notarial services.
Under current state law, those with a felony record are unable to become public notaries.
“People make mistakes, but it doesn’t mean that they should be discriminated against once they’ve served their time and are re-entering the workforce,” Young said. “Prior felons often times run into challenges finding a job due to their previous record. Qualifying this group of people to become notaries can help break the cycle of poverty, allowing them to provide income to help improve their own life and the lives of their families.”
In order to qualify as a notary under current state law, an applicant must be at least 18 years old, a citizen of the United States and employed within Oklahoma or be a legal resident of the state.
“As absentee voting is becoming more and more common due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we need to ensure we have plenty of Oklahomans who are able to become notaries and notarize these ballots,” Young said. “Lifting this out-of-date law and allowing more citizens to serve as notaries is just common sense.”