The deadline to register to vote in time for the Feb. 12 election is this Friday, Jan. 18.

The Feb. 12 election is an incredibly important one (pretty much every election is incredibly important, but there's a lot to vote on in February). Norman voters will consider three contested city council races and determine who will be the next Norman mayor. Area voters will pick between two Norman Public Schools board of education candidates, and vote "yes" or "no" on a $186 million NPS school bond proposal.

These four City of Norman representatives will come into office during a time of significant change: at some point this year, Norman will have a new city manager and city attorney, and with a transportation bond and stormwater utility fee potentially on the April ballot, there's going to be a lot to oversee and implement.

The UNP arena/entertainment district debate (Discussion? Argument? Shouting match?) also demonstrated that deep divisions remain in our community, divisions the new version of the city council should work actively to heal.

Also, they should build a new senior citizens center. For four years now, we've heard from candidates how the center is vitally important, yet we don't even know where it's going to be yet. Must not be that important to them.

To register to vote, you can fill out a physical application form, which are available at the Cleveland County Election Board Office at 641 E. Robinson, STE 200 in Norman and at all tag agencies, post offices and public libraries in Cleveland County.

You can also find forms online at the state election board website or Cleveland County election board website (elections.state.ok.us or clevelandcountyelectionboard.com). If you're not sure what your registration status is (poll purges do happen if you haven't voted for a while), visit ok.gov/elections and click on "confirm your voter registration." This will also show you your precinct number, polling place and the various offices that represent you (for instance, what City of Norman Ward you're in).

You can drop off completed forms at the Cleveland County Election Board (must do so by 5 p.m. on Jan. 18 to vote on Feb. 12) or mail the form postmarked no later than midnight on Jan. 18.

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