What you should know before Election Day | Panda Anku

EDITOR’S NOTE: This page is part of a comprehensive guide to United States and Puerto Rico state voting rights.

Arkansas saw an increase in black voter turnout immediately after the passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, resulting in the election of the state’s first Republican governor since Reconstruction. In recent years, the state has expanded the use of polling centers to facilitate voting. However, lawmakers have also tightened the state’s voter ID law, shortening the early voting deadline and the time voters must turn in absentee ballots.

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Voter fraud is not specifically defined in Arkansas law. In the 2020 election, the State Elections Committee processed 51 separate complaints containing approximately 190 separate allegations. Some of these have been dismissed as defective while others have been found to be true. Some complainants alleged violations by election officials, such as failure to meet prescribed deadlines.

Source: Arkansas Secretary of State

To register, a resident must not be a convicted felon whose sentence has not been pardoned or pardoned; or are currently found by a court of competent jurisdiction to be mentally uncapable. A person convicted of a felony must show the county registrar that their sentence has been served and any outstanding fines or reparations have been paid in order to be registered to vote.

Source: Arkansas Secretary of State; ACLU of Arkansas

Voters must prove their voter registration with an official photo ID at the ballot box. Acceptable IDs are those issued by the US government, the state of Arkansas, or an accredited post-secondary educational institution in the state of Arkansas. Expired ID cards must be expired no later than four years before the date of the election in which the voter intends to vote. Residents of state-licensed nursing or residential care facilities are not required to provide a document or ID, but must provide a certificate from the facility’s administrator certifying that the individual is a resident of the facility.

Source: Arkansas Secretary of State

Depending on the type of election, early voting can take place in the seven or 15 days before Election Day. Early voting is conducted at the County Clerk’s Office in most Arkansas locations. During a primary or general election, early voting is available Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and ends at 5:00 p.m. on the Monday before the election. For all other elections, early voting is possible during the regular office hours of the district secretary.

Source: Arkansas Secretary of State

Arkansas voters are eligible to vote by mail if they are unable to attend the ballot box on election day for any of the following reasons: the voter will inevitably be absent from their polling station on election day; the voter is physically unable to go to their polling station on election day due to illness or disability; the voter is a member of the armed forces; Voter is a citizen temporarily residing outside the United States. To be eligible to vote absentee, an application must be received by election officials either seven days before the election if submitted by mail or fax, or by close of business on the Friday before the election if submitted in person. The deadline for the delivery of a ballot to the district clerk in person or by a designated holder is the close of business on the Friday before the election. Postal voting documents must be received by the District Office by 7:30 p.m. on election day. Absentee votes may not be sent by email or fax.

Source: Arkansas Secretary of State

Arkansas law permits a registered voter to apply to vote without having to appear in person at the election. This procedure is available to voters who are unavoidably absent from voting on election day, who are unable to vote on election day because of illness or physical disability, or who are absent on election day because of their residency at a government-licensed nursing facility or residential nursing facility.

Source: Arkansas Secretary of State

As of the 2020 census, Arkansas was allocated four seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, the same number as at the last census in 2010. Opponents of the recent proposal to split two counties into multiple districts said the reallocation was by partisan and racial lines . The Arkansas ACLU filed a lawsuit challenging the House plan, but the redrawn maps went into effect for the 2022 general election.

Source: Arkansas government

A new photo ID law eliminated the ability for voters to have their ballots counted even if they did not bring photo ID to the polling station. If a person is now unable to provide photo ID, they must cast a provisional ballot, which will not be counted unless they appear in person and present ID by noon on the Monday after the election. Arkansas law restricts loitering within 100 feet of the front entrance of a polling station. With some exceptions, it is suspected that someone in possession of five or more voting cards intends to commit voter fraud. Previously, a person could hold 10 voting cards without triggering this presumption.

Source: Arkansas Secretary of State

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