Voting in Arkansas

Voting in Arkansas

Summary

Federal & state elections on the ballot: US Senator, 4 US House members, Governor, and Arkansas State Senate and House.

Ballot measures: 

The Secretary of State of Arkansas is one of the elected constitutional officers of the U.S. state of Arkansas. The secretary oversees the Elections Division administers elections, regulates campaign finance and lobbying, and ensures compliance with state and federal election laws.

About

Contact

Email: SBEC

Locations

Arkansas State Board
501 Woodlane Dr., Suite 122 South
Little Rock, AR 7220
Phone: (800) 411-6996
Fax: (501) 682-1782

Registering to Vote

General Information

Who can register

To register in Arkansas you must:

  • be a citizen of the United States
  • live in Arkansas at the address in Box 2 on the application
  • be at least 18 years old before the next election
  • not be a convicted felon (or have completely discharged your sentence or been pardoned)
  • not claim the right to vote in any other jurisdiction
  • not previously be adjudged mentally incompetent by a court of competent jurisdiction

How to register

  1. Use our Register to Vote form below to fill out the National Voter Registration Form.
  2. Sign and date your form. This is very important!
  3. Mail or hand-deliver your completed form to the address we provide.
  4. Make sure you register before the voter registration deadline.

Election Day registration

N/A

Voting Rights restoration

If you have been convicted of a felony and have questions about whether you can register to vote, visit Restore Your Vote to determine your eligibility.

Registration status (form)

New Registration (form)

Voting

General Information

Primary Elections

Tuesday, August 11, 2020
Registration Deadlines:
By Mail: Monday, July 13, 2020
In Person: Monday, July 13, 2020

Voting as a Student

Learn more from Campus Vote Project about voting for students.

Overseas Voting

You are a Military or Overseas voter if you are in uniformed services, living overseas OR a spouse or dependent of a uniformed services voter. To get registered and vote, you can utilize Overseas Vote Foundation.

Voting with Disabilities

If you are at the polling site and find that you are unable to stand in line for extended period of time due to physical, sensory or other disabilities, you can inform an election official and they will put you at the head of the line of any voters.

If you are unable to mark your ballot, you may be assisted by two election officials or by any person selected by you, who will mark the ballot in accordance with your voting wishes.

If you are unable to read the ballot, the election official have the entire ballot read to you, unless you instruct otherwise. The election official shall then assist you without comment or interpretation in marking the ballot. If you designate a person to assist, the election official shall allow that person to assist you, and the person designated shall read the entire ballot to you, unless you instruct otherwise, and then assist you without comment or interpretation in marking the ballot

For more information, you can utilize the American Association of People With Disabilities (AAPD) resource.

Early Voting

Depending on the type of election being conducted, you may early vote during the 7 or 15 days before Election Day. During primary and general elections, early voting is available between 8am-6pm Monday-Friday and 10am-5pm on the Monday before the Election. For more information check your state’s resource.

Vote by Mail (Absentee)

Absentee rules

You may vote by absentee ballot in Arkansas if:

  • you will be unavoidably absent from your polling site on Election Day
  • you will be unable to attend your polling site on Election Day due to illness or physical disability
  • you are a member of the U.S. armed forces, merchant marines or the spouse or a dependent family member
  • you are a U.S. citizen whose permanent residence is in Arkansas but who is temporarily living outside the United States

How to get Absentee ballot

  1. Use our Absentee Ballot form below to prepare your application.
  2. Sign and date the form. This is very important!
  3. Return your completed application to your Local Election Office as soon as possible. We’ll provide the mailing address for you.
  4. All Local Election Offices will accept mailed or hand-delivered forms. If it’s close to the deadline, call and see if your Local Election Office will let you fax or email the application.
  5. Make sure your application is received by the deadline. Your application must actually arrive by this time — simply being postmarked by the deadline is insufficient.
  6. Please contact your Local Election Office if you have any further questions about the exact process.

What to do next

  1. Once you receive the ballot, carefully read and follow the instructions.
  2. Provide a copy of an acceptable form of ID with your voted ballot. (You must provide a copy of one of the forms of ID listed when you mail back your voted absentee ballot.)
  3. Sign and date where indicated.
  4. Mail your voted ballot back to the address indicated on the return envelope.
  5. Your voted ballot must arrive by the deadline or it will not be counted.

Deadlines

  • In Person: 1 day before Election Day
  • By Mail: 7 days before Election Day
  • Online: 7 days before Election Day

Absentee Ballot (form)

Elections Alert (Form)

Polling Information

Polling Place Locator
You can confirm your voting location here.

Polling Place Hours
The polls will be open from 7:30 am to 7:30 pm on Election Day. When the polls close, if you are in line, you will be permitted to vote.

Poll Worker Information
In order to be a poll worker in Arkansas, you must:

  • Be a qualified elector in Arkansas
  • Be able to read and write English
  • Be a resident of the precinct in which you serve
  • Not have been found or plead guilty to the violation of any election law in Arkansas
  • Not be a paid employee of any political party
  • Not be a paid employee of any person running for any office on the county’s ballot
  • Not be a candidate for any office to be filled at an election while serving as a poll worker
  • Not be related or married to any candidate running for office in the current election
  • Complete the training

To sign up, contact your local board of elections.

State Board of Election Commissioners

State Board of Election Commissioners

Source: State Board of Election Commissioners

The State Board of Election Commissioners consists of a seven member staff serving a seven member board comprised of the Secretary of State as Chairperson, two members appointed by the Governor, and one member each appointed by the chair of the state Democratic party, the chair of the state Republican party, the President Pro Tempore of the Arkansas Senate, and the Speaker of the Arkansas House of Representatives.

The mission of the Board is to improve the orderly conduct of elections in the State by promoting fair and orderly election procedures through education, assistance, and monitoring. The Board develops resources to educate and assist candidates and county election administrators, develops specialized training programs, conducts and coordinates statewide training of county election commissioners and election officials, monitors compliance by local election authorities with federal and state election laws, investigates complaints of alleged election misconduct and election law violations, and distributes funds to the counties for state-supported political party primary elections, nonpartisan judicial general elections, special primary elections, and statewide special elections.

Secretary of State

Secretary of State John Thurston

Arkansas Secretary of State John Thurston, was first elected as Secretary in November of 2018, after serving eight years as Arkansas Commissioner of State Lands.  John is the past chairman of the Arkansas Natural and Cultural Resources Council.  He is also the past president of the Western States Land Commissioners Association.  John was born in Little Rock, Arkansas and was raised in Saline County, attending and graduating from Sheridan High School in 1991.  He attended Henderson State University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas before graduating from Agape College in Little Rock with a diploma in Biblical Studies.  John was a licensed minister and was a Certified Religious Assistant in the Arkansas state prison system.

By law, the Secretary of State serves as Chair of the Capitol Arts and Grounds Commission and the State Board of Election Commissioners, as well as a member of the Capitol Zoning District Commission, the Capitol Parking Control Committee, and the Information Network of Arkansas Board.  He is also a member of the Board of Apportionment, which oversees the redistricting of legislative districts.

As Secretary of State, Secretary Thurston is also member of the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS).  He serves on the Elections, Business Services, International Relations, and Cyber Security Committees of that body.

John now resides in East End, Arkansas with his wife Joanna and their five children.  He is also an avid outdoorsman.

John’s vision for the future is that the Secretary of State along with Arkansas government will lead the nation in the area of ethics and accountability.

The Elections Division

Source: Web page

The Elections Division is responsible for maintaining the state’s election records, assisting county officials with conducting federal, state and district elections, helps to ensure compliance with federal election laws such as the National Voter Registration Act and the Help America Vote Act, and oversees training on the state’s electronic voting systems.

The division serves as a clearinghouse for campaign finance reports that are filed with the Arkansas Ethics Commission, and the library of the Elections Division maintains the journals and acts of the Legislature along with all incorporations and annexations of cities and towns.

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