Voting in Arkansas

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This page has information relating to voting in Arkansas. For full information contact your state election agency.

Registration

Arkansas uses an open primary system, meaning voters are not required to declare a party preference when registering to vote.

To vote in Arkansas, you must meet the following requirements:[1]

  • Be a U.S. citizen.
  • Be an Arkansas resident (residing in Arkansas at least 30 days prior to the first election in which you will vote).
  • Be age 18 or turn 18 on or before the next election.
  • Not be a convicted felon whose sentence has not been discharged or pardoned.
  • Not be presently adjudged as mentally incompetent as to your ability to vote by a court of competent jurisdiction.

When and where

The application must be submitted no later than 30 days before the election you wish to vote in. You may register to vote by mail or in one of the following locations:[1]

  • County clerk's office in your home county
  • State Revenue Office, Driver Services (pick up a paper form or ask for your
  • information to be transmitted electronically)
  • Public library or Arkansas State Library
  • Public assistance agency
  • Disability agency
  • Military recruitment office
  • Arkansas National Guard
  • Voter registration drive - PDF

Online registration

See also: Online voter registration in the 50 states

As of October 2014, Arkansas is one of the 35 states that have not implemented online voter registration.

Voting on election day

Electors must show a photo ID in order to vote.[2]

Poll times

See also: State Poll Opening and Closing Times

In Arkansas, all polling places will be open from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Election Day. When the polls close, if you are in line, you will be permitted to vote.[3]

Proposed changes

The 2013 Arkansas State Legislature passed a bill that requires voters to present photo ID at the polls, with some exceptions.[4] Gov. Mike Beebe vetoed the bill. He wrote, the bill "unnecessarily restricts and impairs our citizens' right to vote." Beebe also noted that the implementation costs could rise to $300,000.[5] Prior to the Senate's vote the Senate Rules Committee issued a non-binding advisory opinion that the Senate had previously not properly passed the bill. The committee said that because SB 2 would alter the Arkansas Constitution it would require a 2/3 vote approval. The advisory opinion was rejected by the full Senate.[6] On March 27, 2013 the Arkansas Senate voted 21-12, along party lines, to override the governor's veto.[7] On April 1, 2013 the state house voted 52-45 in agreement with the senate to override Gov. Beebe's veto.[8][9]

The law will become effective upon the later of either January 1, 2014 or when funds for the issuance of free voter identification cards have been appropriated and are available.[10]

Bill Introduced Senate Vote House Vote Senate Vote Gubernatorial Action
SB 2 Jan. 14, 2013 in Arkansas Senate Approveda on Feb. 20, 2013, 23 to 12 Approveda on March 13, 2013, 51 to 44 Approveda w/amendments March 19, 2013 22 to 12 Defeatedd on March 25, 2013 (overridden)

Absentee voting

See also: Absentee voting

Eligibility

You are eligible to vote absentee in an election if you cannot make it to the polls on election day for one of the following reasons:[11]

  • you will be unavoidably absent from your polling site on election day, OR
  • you will be unable to attend your polling site on election day due to illness or physical disability, OR
  • you are a member of the U.S. armed forces, merchant marines or the spouse or a dependant family member, OR
  • you are a U.S. citizen domiciled in Arkansas but temporarily living outside the territorial limits of the United States.

Deadlines

To vote absentee a request must be received at least seven days prior to the election (by mail or fax) or the day before election (in person). The ballot must then be returned either in person by close of business the day before the election or by mail. If returned by mail, it must be received by 7:30 p.m. on election day.[11]

Military and overseas voting

For full details, visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program here.

Early voting

See also: Early voting

Arkansas is one of 34 states that has early voting with no specific requirements as to who can vote early. Depending on the type of election, early voting begins seven to 15 days before an election and ends on the day prior to election day.[12] The average number of days prior to an election that voters can cast an early ballot is 21 days in states with a definitive starting date.

See also

External links

References