Arkansas

Upcoming Elections

Oct. 5, 2020 – Voter Registration Deadline
Oct. 27, 2020 – Deadline to Request Absentee Ballot by Mail/Electronic Means
Nov. 2, 2020 – Deadline to Return Absentee Ballot In Person

Voting in Arkansas

When You Can Vote

Election Day: Polls are open from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Central Time on Election Day.

General Election Early Voting: Early voting begins at 8:00 a.m. Central Time on Monday, October 19, 2020. Early voting is then available between the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, and between 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Saturdays. Early voting closes at 5:00 p.m. on Monday, November 2, 2020.

Where You Can Vote

How to Find Your Polling Place on Election Day: Visit the Arkansas Secretary of State’s voter view website to find your polling location. Most local newspapers publish a list of polling sites within a few days of an election. Additionally, if you received a Voter ID card from the county clerk, it may show the voter’s precinct.

Early Voting Locations: In most counties, early voting is conducted at the county clerk’s office. Some counties may choose to conduct off-site early voting (a location other than the county clerk’s office), and local newspapers will publish the designated sites. Voters can contact their county clerk’s office to confirm their early voting location.  The location of all Arkansas county clerks’ offices and their contact information can be found on the Secretary of State’s website

Registering to Vote

Registration Deadlines: You must register to vote 30 days prior to the General Election. The deadline to register either in-person or by mail (postmarked) for this year’s General Election is Monday, October 5, 2020.

How to Check Your Registration: Use Arkansas’s voter view website or call (1-866-OUR-VOTE). You may also call your county clerk and inquire about the status of your application.

Registration Eligibility: In order to be eligible to register to vote in Arkansas, you must:

  • Be a citizen of the United States;
  • Be an Arkansas resident (residing in Arkansas at least 30 days before the November 3, 2020 election);
  • Be at least 18 years old on or before Election Day;
  • Not be claiming the right to vote in another county or state;
  • Not be a convicted felon whose sentence has not been discharged or pardoned;
  • Not be presently adjudged as mentally incompetent as to the ability to vote by a court of competent jurisdiction.

How to Register: Arkansas residents may register to vote in person or by mail. The registration form is available at the Secretary of State site

Register to Vote in Person

You can fill out an application to register to vote at your local:

  • County clerk’s office in your home county;
  • Driver Services or State Revenue Office;
  • Public library or Arkansas State Library;
  • Public assistance agency;
  • Disability agency;
  • Military recruitment office;
  • Arkansas National Guard office;
  • Voter registration drive.

Register to Vote by Mail

In order to register to vote by mail, you must obtain a mail-in registration form by:

  • Picking up a form from any of the locations where you can register to vote in person (listed above) and then mailing it in;
  • Contacting your county clerk’s office to request that they mail you a form;
  • Requesting the form to be mailed to you through the Arkansas Secretary of State’s website;
  • Printing the form, which is available on the Arkansas Secretary of State’s website in English or Spanish, and mailing it in;
  • Calling the Arkansas Secretary of State Elections Division at (1-800-247-3312) to request that they mail you a form.
  • Request an application online .

Identification Required for Registration

You must provide some form of identification to register. You may provide either your driver’s license number or the last four digits of your Social Security number on your Arkansas Voter Registration Application, or you should check the box on the application to indicate that you possess neither. 

If you do not possess either a driver’s license or Social Security number, you should submit a photocopy of one of the following with your mail-in application, or bring the documents with you at the time of voting:

  • Current and valid photo identification (especially one that has your address listed – some County Clerks require the ID to have an address);
  • A copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check or paycheck that shows your name and address; 
  • Concealed handgun carry license; 
  • a U.S. passport; 
  • An employee badge or identification document issued by an accredited postsecondary education institution in the State of Arkansas; or
  • Other government document that shows your name and address.
Voting Early & by Absentee Ballot

If You Want to Vote Early

General Election, early voting begins at 8:00 a.m. Central Time on Monday, October 19, 2020. Early voting is then available between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, and between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. on Saturdays. Early voting closes at 5:00 p.m. on Monday, November 2, 2020.

In most counties, early voting is conducted at the county clerk’s office. Some counties may choose to conduct off-site early voting (a location other than the county clerk’s office), and local newspapers regularly publish the designated sites. Voters can contact their county clerk’s office to confirm their early voting location.  The location of all Arkansas county clerks’ offices and their contact information can be found on the Secretary of State’s website.

If You Want to Vote Absentee

Arkansas’s permanent absentee voting regime:

You may cast an absentee ballot if you:

  • Will be unavoidably absent from your polling site on Election Day;
  • Will be unable to attend your polling site on Election Day due to illness or physical disability;
  • Reside in a long-term care or residential facility licensed by the state;
  • Are a member of the Uniformed Services, merchant marines or the spouse of a dependent family member and are away from your polling location due to the member’s active duty status;
  • Are a United States citizen whose residence is in Arkansas but is temporarily living outside the territorial limits of the U.S. 

To receive an absentee ballot, you can either pick up an absentee ballot application from your county clerk or request to have one sent to you by contacting your county clerk’s office in the county where you are registered to vote.  You can also download an absentee ballot application directly from the Secretary of State’s website. When you submit your application for an absentee ballot, you may designate how you wish to receive your ballot—whether in person, by mail, or by designated bearer.

NOTE: Arkansas Secretary of State John Thurston declared that anyone in the state can request an absentee ballot in the November 3 general election during the COVID-19 pandemic. As discussed above, under state law, a voter who can’t vote in person on Election Day because of travel, illness, or physical disability may cast an absentee ballot. Secretary Thurston has said that a health concern because of COVID-19 is a qualifying reason to vote absentee. In other words, anyone who fears that going to a polling place will put his or her health at risk may request an absentee ballot.

Absentee Voting Rules and Deadlines

Deadlines for Submission of Absentee Voting Application:

  • In person: by close of business the day before the election—Monday, November 2, 2020
  • By mail or electronic means: received seven days before the election—Tuesday, October 27, 2020
  • By designated bearer or administrator: by close of business the day before the election—Monday, November 2, 2020
  • By authorized agent: by 1:30 p.m. on Election Day. The authorized agent must file with the County Clerk an affidavit from the administrative head of a hospital or nursing home located 
  • in Arkansas verifying that the applicant is a patient of the hospital or long-term care or residential care facility licensed by the state and is thereby unable to vote on Election Day at their regular polling site.

Deadline for Ballot Pickup Ballot:

  • By Designated Bearer: Ballots may be picked up no earlier than 15 days before the election—Monday, October 19, 2020.
  • By Anyone Else: No deadline specified, but base the ballot pick up on the ability to return it to the County Clerk on time. 

Deadline for Delivery of Voted Ballot to County Clerk:

  • In person: Ballots must be delivered by close of regular business the day before the election—Monday, November 2, 2020.
  • By mail: Ballots must be delivered by 7:30 p.m. on Election Day—Tuesday, November 3, 2020. 
  • By designated bearer: Ballots must be delivered by 7:30 p.m. on Election Day—Tuesday, November 3, 2020. 
  • By authorized agent: Ballots must be delivered by 7:30 p.m. on Election Day—Tuesday, November 3, 2020.
  • Absentee Ballots from UOCAVA voters (active-duty uniform service members, merchant marines, their spouses and dependents and overseas citizens) will be accepted up to 10 days after the election.

Amendments to Arkansas’s absentee voting regime during COVID-19:

On July 2, 2020, Arkansas Secretary of State John Thurston declared that anyone in the state can request an absentee ballot in the November 3 general election during the COVID-19 pandemic. As discussed above, under state law, a voter who can’t vote in person on Election Day because of travel, illness, or physical disability may cast an absentee ballot. Secretary Thurston has said that a health concern because of COVID-19 is a qualifying reason to vote absentee. In other words, anyone who fears that going to a polling place will put his or her health at risk may request an absentee ballot.

On August 7, 2020, Governor Asa Hutchinson (R) issued an executive order extending absentee ballot eligibility to all voters in the November 3, 2020, general election “who conclude their attendance at the polls may be a risk to their health or the health of others due to the COVID-19 pandemic.” The order formalized the policy first announced by Hutchinson and Secretary of State John Thurston (R) on July 2, 2020. 

The same mail-in ballot pickup and delivery rules in normal times apply for the November 3 general election. For more information on Arkansas’s absentee voting rules during the pandemic see this Resolution by the State board of Elections.

Identification Requirements

Identification Requirements to Cast a Ballot

Arkansas poll workers are required to request that voters present an approved form of ID . This ID must show the voter’s name and photo, and must be issued by either the state or federal government. A free voter verification card is available through the Secretary of State’s office or the voter’s county clerk for any voter who does not have another ID valid for voting. The ID card must not be expired for more than four (4) years before the date of the election. IDs that meet the requirements include a driver’s license, a photo identification card, a concealed carry handgun permit, a U.S. Passport, a student ID or employee badge from an accredited postsecondary institution in the State of Arkansas, a military ID, a voter verification card, or a public assistance ID that shows a photo of the cardholder.

A person who is a resident of a long-term care or residential care facility licensed by the state of Arkansas is not required to verify his or her registration by presenting a document or identification card as described above when voting in person, but must provide documentation from the administrator of the facility attesting that the person is a resident of the facility.

Voters unable to verify registration when voting in person are permitted to cast a provisional ballot, which will be counted if (x) the voter completes a sworn statement at the polling site stating that the voter is registered to vote in the state and that he or she is the person registered to vote and the county board of election commissioners does not determine that the provisional ballot is invalid and should not be counted based on other grounds or (y) the voter returns to the county board of election commissioners or the county clerk by 12:00 noon on the Monday following the election and presents a document or identification card meeting the requirements described above, and the county board of election commissioners does not determine that the provisional ballot is invalid and should not be counted based on other grounds.. 

If You Have Moved Within Your State

Moving within the Same County

If you move to a new address within your current voting precinct, you have the right to vote in that precinct after completing a change-of-address form. When you move to a new address within the same county in Arkansas but outside the precinct where you’re registered, you have the right to vote at your new precinct and fill out a change-of-address form there. The election officials should contact the county clerk to confirm that you are a registered voter within the county and that your new address corresponds to the polling site, and once this is confirmed, you may cast a regular ballot after filling out the updated voter registration application form there.

If the election official cannot confirm your registration in the county and your name does not appear on the voter list at the precinct, you are still entitled to cast a provisional ballot after you affirm you are a registered voter and qualified to vote at that election. The election official is then required to provide you with written instructions on how to determine whether your provisional vote is counted or, if not, the reason the vote was not counted.

In those counties with electronic voting centers, you should be permitted to vote at any polling site within the county.

Moving Between Counties

Moving across county lines in Arkansas requires transferring your voter registration to the new county. You must submit your updated registration to the county clerk in your new county no later than four days before the election—Friday, October 30, 2020 – otherwise, you will not be eligible to vote in your new county for the election. You can do so by completing a Voter Registration Application, checking the box for “This is an address change” and completing the bottom half of the form. 

The county clerks’ listing can be found on the Arkansas Association of Counties website 

https://www.arcounties.org/counties

Refer to the table below for the location specific information. 

 

Moved within
the same precinct
Moved to a different precinct but within the same county Moved to a different county
The voter should vote at the polling place associated with their new address (which should be the same polling place as for the old address). To find the polling place, see the Arkansas “Voter View” website from Question 2.  

Poll workers may call the County Clerk’s office to confirm that the new address is in the same precinct.  If it is, the voter will fill out a change-of-address form to update his or her address and vote on a regular ballot.

If the voter has not updated their address within the county, she or he will still be able to cast a regular ballot at the polling place associated with the new address

Election officials may seek to confirm the voter’s registration status with the county clerk and that the voter’s new address corresponds to the polling site, and the voter should fill out the updated voter registration application form before obtaining their ballot to vote.

If the voter initially went to the polling place for his old address, he will have to travel to the polling place for the new address to vote.

If a voter moves across county lines, the voter is required to transfer their voter registration to the new county. The voter is required to submit their updated registration to the county clerk in their new county no later than 4 days before a scheduled election. If the application arrives less than four days before an election, the voter will not be eligible to vote in their new county for that election.

The voter can go to the new polling site in the new county and complete the change of address portion of a voter registration application, BUT the voter will be given a provisional ballot and it is NOT likely to count in the new county IF the change is made within four days of an election.

 

If a voter’s registration status cannot be verified, fo

If You Are in the Military or are an Overseas Voter

Military and other overseas citizens may use the standard procedure for absentee voting by mail, but there are also special provisions for members of the U.S. Armed Forces and merchant marine, commissioned corps of the Public Health Service and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, along with family members of all these groups, and other citizens who reside outside the United States (together these groups are called UOCAVA voters).

Registering and Requesting an Absentee Ballot

UOCAVA voters can register using the standard procedure for registration, listed above, or they can submit the Military and Overseas Request Form on the Arkansas Secretary of State’s website to request that an application be sent by regular mail or email. UOCAVA voters can also use the Federal Post Card Application to register to vote.  UOCAVA voters may also register to vote and request an absentee ballot by calling (1-800-274-VOTE).

UOCAVA voters should ensure that they register to vote 30 days prior to the General Election—Monday, October 5, 2020.

To request an absentee ballot, UOCAVA voters may submit the Arkansas application or use the Federal Post Card Application. You should try to complete your absentee ballot request as soon as possible so that your ballot will be sent to you in time for you to mark it and return it to your county clerk. 

UOCAVA voters may also request that an absentee ballot be sent to them by either mail or by electronic means.  The ballot delivery system “Ballot Safe” will be used again in 2020 to allow UOCAVA voters to receive their absentee ballot through a secure online website.  After a qualified voter has requested an absentee ballot, the voter will receive a confirmation email with instructions on how to log into the secure site.  The voter will download the ballot and other necessary documents, such as a Voter Statement, instructions and envelope templates.  The ballot should be marked before the polls close in Arkansas on Election Day.  Ballots from UOCAVA voters must be received no later than 10 days after the election.  The deadline for the General Election is 5:00 p.m. on November 13, 2020.

After the ballot is mailed, the voter can check back on the secure site to track the status of the ballot and confirm when their county clerk has received it.

Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot

The Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot (FWAB) is a back-up ballot that can be used by UOCAVA voters who did not receive his or her regular ballot.  You can use the FWAB whether you are located inside or outside the United States (including APO and FPO addresses), provided that you are away from your voting residence for service-related activities. If you complete the Federal Write-In Ballot and later receive a standard ballot, you should complete the standard ballot, as well.  You must apply for a regular ballot early enough for your local election officials to receive the request at least 7 days before the election—Tuesday, October 27, 2020.  If you do not receive your regular ballot in time, you should use the FWAB.   For specific instructions, visit the Arkansas-specific FWAB page.  

If You Have a Felony Conviction

Your right to vote is only affected if you have been convicted of a felony. Charges do not affect your right to vote. Misdemeanors do not affect your right to vote. 

A person who is in prison or on parole for the conviction of a felony cannot register or vote. A convicted felon may regain the right to vote after obtaining a pardon from the governor or after discharging a sentence. To restore your right to vote, you must take proof of your discharge from probation or parole and proof that you have paid all probation or parole fees, court costs, fines, or restitution and satisfied all terms of imprisonment to your local county clerk. It is recommended that you collect these records at the time of your discharge or as soon as possible thereafter and retain copies of these records as they may be increasingly difficult to obtain as time

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