TheHouseandSenate.com is a free, service-based website built by an Executive Assistant at the Oklahoma State Capitol. This service was built to streamline state government and make it easy to access the same resources we use every day.

"My name is Maggie. I am a teacher and I will be doing a history lesson on 12/12 about American government, specifically the Judicial branch. I was looking into teaching resources for it and I came across your website. I have got to say, it's great! You have so much great information here and your website layout is so easy to use. I just can't tell you how much I love it!"

"Every year during legislative session, I am reminded how grateful I am for this website and the detail involved. It is a be-all and end-all resource for me and I just wanted to tell you how much you are appreciated for providing it." - Executive Assistant, OK Center for the Advancement of Science

"If you have an interest in your state government and need reliable information fast … in Oklahoma, this is the website to use. This should be one of your 'go to sites'."

"We can tell you that the Oklahoma Reporter and the NABRAUSA use this website to help in data research for articles and investigations. It has saved us thousands of hours work … and we always find the information to be just what the site claims: a link for public information."

"I own a web hosting company and I am the political analyst in Oklahoma, Arkansas and Texas -- I am very impressed with your site. Apparently my staff has used your site for some time, and as is often the case, I am the last to know about such a resource. Keep up the good work!"

Welcome to theHouseandSenate.com - a website by Grace McMillan. Like this website? See more web design at GraceMcMillan.com.

How to Email your Legislator … from my point of view

  • We want to hear what you have to say.
  • We want to know who you are.
  • We are particularly interested if you are our constituent.

These are all very true statements. We mean them sincerely.

Another very true statement is that we get thousands of emails. Here’s how to email us efficiently.

Use this link to Find your Legislator. There’s nothing wrong with emailing all the legislators, but your legislator is the one who can help you with legislation, constituent concerns, etc. If he/she is not the person who can help you, they will direct you to someone who can.

Fill in the Subject line with a brief description of your concern. It’s the “title” of your email – good Subject lines help us to file the email for future reference.

Please give your name and address. This will tell us whether or not you are our constituent. If you are not our constituent, your name and address can help us direct your email to the proper recipient for best response.

If you wish only to tell us your viewpoint on a matter, that’s great. Fill the email with your concerns. We read them. 

If you have a question that requires an answer, please ask the question obviously. Perhaps you could put the question in a separate paragraph, or bold it.

If you would like our help with an issue, first give us the details, attaching all pertinent information. If you have names and contact information of related people, be sure to include that. If you want us to contact you, make that clear … and include a valid phone number/email address. If there is something specific that you are requesting our office to do … we’d love to hear it.

 

By |November 9th, 2014|From My Point of View, How To ...|0 Comments

It’s Easy to Vote in Oklahoma

I am 50 years old and 2014 is my first year to vote. Oh, yes, and I live in Oklahoma.

Which is good … because Oklahoma makes it easy to vote.

Now, you folks who have been American all your lives or who have lived in Oklahoma for years … probably already know this and you’re rolling your eyes at the enthusiasm of the newly converted (I just became a US citizen). But just in case you’re used to it … or take it for granted … the legal right to vote is very, very cool. I would do it even if it were hard. So the fact that it’s convenient is awesome.

Registering to vote is unbelievably easy. A registration form may be obtained online, from your county election board, the State Election Board, local post office, tag agency, library, etc. Fill out the form, sign it … and mail it in. Piece of cake. Five minutes and done.

I’m a busy professional and work more than one job … but not only can I find the time to vote in Oklahoma, there is more than one method available to me.

First of all, they have absentee ballots. People who are shut in, people who are disabled, people who take care of the disabled, or people who are away from home – Oklahoma makes it easy for those to vote. All they have to do is request an absentee ballot.

You can write the Election Board … or download a form, mail it in … and your ballot is mailed to you. No lines. No waiting. No getting out in bad weather. For the cost of a postage stamp you can have a voice in how they spend your taxes. The hardest part of absentee voting is finding a notary, but I bet your bank has one…. AND the law says notaries can’t charge a fee for this service.

But here’s what else is cool.  Any registered voter can vote by absentee ballot. You don’t need to give a reason. How easy is that? Oklahoma makes it easy for the busy person. They even have emergency absentee voting procedures.

But I’m a busy person with a tender conscience, so I want to do the research first. Oklahoma makes that easy, too. The State Election Board has an Online Voter Tool for registered voters. Fill in your name and birth date, press “Search,” and all necessary information comes up, including a sample ballot. That sample ballot is the very same one you’ll be filling out to vote.

No more guesswork. This means you can do the research on every single candidate listed on your ballot – at your own pace and ahead of time. Take the sample with you when you vote or reference it when you get your absentee ballot. Easy peasy.

Here’s what else that Online Voter Tool gives you: your voter id, your precinct number, where to vote, and the status of your absentee ballot.

Not only can Oklahomans vote on Election Day, they can vote three days prior to state and federal elections, including a Saturday! Yep. Just to make sure your voice is heard, Oklahoma encourages early voting.

It’s clear that Oklahoma really, really wants you to vote … even if you’re an American citizen living abroad. The State Election Board provides links and services to military/overseas voters and disabled voters. The new voting machines allow for disabled voters … and volunteers are standing by if you need assistance when you vote in person.

It seems as though every possible contingency has been anticipated. You’re not too busy; you’re not too far away; you’re not too disabled. If you can’t get out, Oklahoma will send a ballot to you. If you need assistance, volunteers are here to help. If you want to do the research, you have access to a sample ballot. Got an emergency, but still want to vote? Oklahoma will work with you to make that happen. Don’t know your Voter ID number? No problem. You can access the information online. Don’t know where to vote? Okay. Give your name and birth date; they’ll tell you the location of your polling place.

All you gotta do is be who you say you are. They’ll do everything they can to make voting easy.

Okay, then.

I’m registered. I’ve requested an absentee ballot and researched my candidates using the sample ballot built specifically for my location.

I’m gonna vote this year.

Update: I DID vote this year … and now I’m tracking the status of my absentee ballot; how cool is that?

Grace McMillan
Longtime resident, brand new citizen

By |October 23rd, 2014|From My Point of View, How To ...|0 Comments

Updating the Perfect Invitation … from my point of view

Did we mention that our offices receive thousands of invitations?

We file our invitations and appointments by date and time, not by event or contact person. If your event information has changed, please start the update by giving us the original date of the event, even if it’s the time or location you are changing.

Updated invitations or event change notifications should include the following:

  • The original date and time.
  • Tell us who you are (business name) and give us the name/purpose for your event.
  • Give us the UPDATED place, date and time – plus a contact person.
  • Inform us if you require an additional rsvp and give us a way to do that. Personally, we prefer to e-mail rsvp’s because that gives us a digitally searchable, written record of our communication to you. If you send an e-mail invitation, a simple reply to the e-mail sender is easiest for us.

Thank you so much for this consideration … you have just saved us hours of frustration!

By |January 30th, 2010|From My Point of View, Uncategorized|0 Comments

The Perfect Invitation … from my point of view

Our offices receive thousands of invitations. We receive them in person, by phone, e-mail, letter and card.

The perfect invitation is easy for us to read … easy to print … and easy to file. The fewer the distractions, the better.

  • Tell us who you are (business name) and give us the name/purpose for your event.
  • Give us a place, a date and a time – plus a contact person.
  • Inform us if you require an rsvp and give us a way to do that. Personally, I prefer to e-mail rsvp’s because that gives our office a digitally searchable, written record of our communication to you. If you send an e-mail invitation, a simple reply to the e-mail sender is easiest for us.

We don’t mind a hospitable and welcoming follow up communication if you don’t receive an rsvp by the time you require one, but please have the date ready when you call, because that is how we will search our calendars.

Did we mention that we receive thousands of invitations? Send yours early enough for us to plan. Especially during session, if we receive your invitation on the day of the event, it is very likely that our office has already made commitments.

The Perfect Invitation

 

By |January 17th, 2010|From My Point of View, How To ...|0 Comments