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Election Administration in Arkansas

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Election Types and Dates

Election Dates

Upcoming Primary Elections

The general primary election is March 1, 2016, and the general primary runoff election is March 22, 2016. The municipal primary election is August 9, 2016 (only for municipalities with a city administrator form of government).

Source (confirmed on: 2016-07-14)

Ark. 2016 Election Calendar, p. 2 [link]

Upcoming General Elections

The nonpartisan election is March 1, 2016. The annual school election is September 20, 2016, and the annual school runoff election is October 11, 2016.

The general election is November 8, 2016, and the general runoff election is November 29, 2016.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-07-14)

Ark. 2016 Election Calendar, p. 2 [link]

How is a nominee determined?

How is a nominee determined (caucus, primary, convention)?

Primary elections.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-07-14)

Ark. Code § 7-7-102 [link]

Political Party Affiliation

Can voters register by party in the state?

Yes.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-07-14)

Ark. Const. amend. 51, § 6(a)(4)(B) [link]

Must voters be registered with a political party if they would like to vote on that party’s candidates in a partisan primary election (i.e., are primaries open or closed)?

Primary elections are open to all voters regardless of their political party affiliation. A voter may choose which political party's primary ballot to vote, or the voter may choose to vote a nonpartisan ballot.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-07-14)

Ark. Code § 7-7-308 [link]

Ark. Sec. of State, Voting in Arkansas [link]

When can a voter change or switch their party affiliation?

At any time.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-07-14)

Ark. Code § 7-7-308 [link]

Ark. Const. amend. 51, § 9(b) [link]

Voter Registration

Who Can Vote?

Can someone pre-register to vote if they will not be 18 years old by the next election? If so, who?

No.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-07-14)

Ark. Const. art. 3, § 1(3) amend. 51, § 9(a)(3)(B) [link]

Can 17-year-olds who will be 18-year-olds by the general election vote in the primary?

No.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-07-14)

Ark. Const. art. 3, § 1(3) amend. 51, § 9(a)(3)(B) [link]

Does the state take away the right to vote from persons convicted of certain crimes? If so, what crimes?

A person convicted of a felony loses their right to vote.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-07-14)

Ark. Const. art. 3, § 2 amend. 51, §§ 9(a)(1), 11(a)(1)(4), (d) [link]

If people lose the right to vote because of a criminal conviction, can they regain the right to vote? How?

A person regains the right to vote once they complete their entire sentence, including any time spent in prison, on probation, or on parole, and have paid all required probation or parole fees, court costs, fines, and restitution. The person must present proof that they completed their sentence to the county clerk and re-register to vote.

Alternatively, a person regains the right to vote if they obtain a pardon.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-07-14)

Ark. Const. amend. 51, § 11(a), (d) [link]

Voter Registration Options

Is fully online voter registration available? (i.e., can voters fill in and submit an online application without printing and signing it?)

No.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-07-14)

Ark. Sec. of State, Voter Registration Information [link]

Does the state accept the National Mail Registration Form?

Yes. Click here to download the form.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-07-14)

National Mail Voter Registration Form [link]

Is the state required to register voters at public assistance agencies and driver's license agencies, per the National Voter Registration Act of 1993?

Yes.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-07-14)

U.S. Department of Justice website [link]

Voter Registration Deadlines

When is the voter registration deadline?

30 days before an election.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-07-14)

Ark. Const. amend. 51, § 9(b) [link]

How is the deadline enforced for mailed applications?

Postmark - The date application is considered submitted on the date it is postmarked.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-07-14)

Ark. Const. amend. 51, § 9(c)(3) [link]

Same-Day Registration

Can voters register and vote on the same day (i.e., does the state offer same-day registration)?

No.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-07-14)

Ark. Const. amend. 51, § 9(b) [link]

Voters Who Have Moved or Changed Their Name

Can people vote if they moved, but did not update their voter registration with their new address?

If a person moves to a new address in the same county, they can update their address on Election Day.

If a person moves to a new county, they must update their registration address no later than 4 days before Election Day, and then they can vote at their new polling place. If the updated information is not received by the county clerk's office by the 4th day, the person will not be eligible to vote.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-07-14)

Ark. Const. amend. 51, § 10 [link]

Can people vote if they have changed their name, but did not update their voter registration with their new name?

If a person changes their name, they can update the name in their registration record on Election Day.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-07-14)

Ark. Const. amend. 51, § 10(a) [link]

Language, Literacy, and Disability Access

Language and Literacy Access

Does the state have any places that must provide election materials in languages other than English, per Section 203 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965?

No.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-07-14)

Voting Rights Act Amendments of 2006, Determinations Under Section 203, 76 Fed. Reg. 63602 (Oct. 13, 2011) [link]

Who can help a voter with reading assistance or translation if they can't vote on their own?

Under Section 208 of the federal Voting Rights Act, any voter who requires assistance to vote due to inability to read or write may be given assistance by a person of the voter's choice, other than the voter's employer, an agent of that employer, or an officer or agent of the voter's union.

Under state law, if a voter is unable to without assistance for any reason, the voter may request assistance at the polling place and receive help from either two election officials or a person of the voter's choice. However, only a poll worker, county clerk, or deputy county clerk may assist more than 6 voters in an election.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-07-14)

52 U.S.C. § 10508 (federal law) [link]

Ark. Code § 7-5-310(b) [link]

Disability Access

Who can help a voter with a disability if they can't vote on their own?

Under Section 208 of the federal Voting Rights Act, any voter who requires assistance to due to blindness or disability may be given assistance by a person of the voter's choice, other than the voter's employer, an agent of that employer, or an officer or agent of the voter's union.

Under state law, if a voter is unable to without assistance for any reason, the voter may request assistance at the polling place and receive help from either two election officials or a person of the voter's choice. However, only a poll worker, county clerk, or deputy county clerk may assist more than 6 voters.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-07-14)

52 U.S.C. § 10508 (federal law) [link]

Ark. Code § 7-5-310(b) [link]

Does the state have other rules related to access for persons with disabilities?

Voters with disabilities may vote by absentee ballot.

Additionally, voters that are adjudged ""mentally incompetent"" by a court lose the right to vote.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-07-14)

Ark. Code § 7-5-402 [link]

Ark. Const. amend. 51, § 11(a)(6) [link]

Early Voting, Absentee Voting, and Other Ways to Vote

Vote-by-Mail

Does the state provide mail ballots to all voters without a request?

No.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-07-14)

Ark. Code § 7-5-402 [link]

Early Voting/Absentee In-Person Voting

Does the state have early voting/absentee in-person voting?

Yes.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-07-14)

Ark. Code § 7-5-418(a) [link]

Where does early voting/absentee in-person voting take place?

At the county clerk's office. The county board of election commissioners may also choose to conduct early voting at additional locations.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-07-14)

Ark. Code § 7-5-418(b) [link]

When does early voting/absentee in-person voting take place?

For a preferential primary election or a general election, early voting begins the 15th day before Election Day and is available between from 8 a.m. 6 p.m., Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, with early voting ending at 5 p.m. on the Monday before the election.

During all other elections, early voting begins the 7th day before Election Day and ends the day before Election Day, and early voting is available during the county clerk's regular business hours.

Early voting must be available at the above dates and times at the county clerk's office. At additional early voting locations, the county board of election commissioners may choose to make early voting available for fewer days or hours.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-07-14)

Ark. Code § 7-5-418 [link]

What official chooses early voting/absentee in-person voting locations?

Each county must conduct early voting at the county clerk's office. Additional early voting locations may be created by the county board of election commissioners.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-07-14)

Ark. Code § 7-5-418 [link]

Are lists of early voters/absentee in-person voters published? How?

Election officials enter into the statewide voter list information on who casts a ballot during early voting. The statewide list is available for public inspection and copying for a fee, and precinct lists are posted in polling places on Election Day.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-07-14)

Ark. Const. amend. 51, § 14 [link]

Ark. Code § 7-5-109 [link]

Ark. Code § 7-5-418(g) [link]

Absentee Voting by Mail

Can anyone vote absentee by mail without an excuse? If not, what excuses allow a voter to vote absentee by mail?

No. A voter may vote absentee only if:

  • The voter will be unavoidably absent from their polling location on Election Day, or
  • The voter will be unable to get to their polling site due to illness or physical disability.
Source (confirmed on: 2016-07-14)

Ark. Code § 7-5-402 [link]

Deadline to apply for absentee ballot by mail

If submitted in person at the county clerk's office, the absentee ballot application must be turned in by the close of business on the day before the election. If submitted by mail, fax, or e-mail, the absentee ballot application must be received 7 days before the election.

Different rules apply to absentee ballot submitted on behalf of the voter by someone else. An application submitted by a designated bearer must be submitted in person and received no later than the day before the election. An application submitted by an authorized agent of the voter must be submitted in person and received by 1:30 p.m. on Election Day. An application submitted by an administrator of a state-licensed long-term care or residential care facility must be submitted in person and received no later than the day before Election Day.

If a voter requests an absentee ballot using an informal letter (rather than on the official application form), the letter must be received by the clerk 7 days before Election Day, regardless of how the voter submits it.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-07-14)

Ark. Code § 7-1-101(1), (4) [link]

Ark. Code § 7-5-404 [link]

How does a voter apply for an absentee mail ballot?

A voter can apply using the official absentee ballot application or an informal letter. The official absentee ballot application can be downloaded here, or the voter can contact their county clerk and request than application be sent to them. The voter must fill out the official absentee ballot application, or write an informal letter than contains the same information that appears on the official absentee ballot application, and then submit it to the county clerk's office in person, by mail, by fax, or by e-mail.

Source (confirmed on: 2014-08-07)

Ark. Code § 7-5-404 [link]

Arkansas Official Absentee Ballot Application [link]

Can a voter make an online request for an absentee mail ballot?

A voter can fill out an official absentee ballot application or write an informal letter requesting an absentee ballot that contains the same information that appears on the official application, scan it, and then e-mail it to the county clerk's office.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-07-14)

Ark. Code § 7-5-404 [link]

Does a voter need to submit any supporting documentation or verification with an absentee mail ballot or absentee mail ballot application? If so, what is required?

No.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-07-14)

Ark. Code § 7-5-404 [link]

Arkansas Official Absentee Ballot Application [link]

Are there restrictions on who may request or turn in an absentee mail ballot application for a voter?

A voter can designate a ""designated bearer"" to deliver their completed absentee ballot application to the county clerk's office in person. No person can serve as a designated bearer for more than 2 voters in an election. The designated bearer must show a current photo ID before the county clerk will give the designated bearer a ballot to deliver to the voter.

Alternatively, if a voter has an unforeseen medical issue that prevents them from voting at the polls on Election Day and the voter is a patient in a hospital, long-term care facility, or residential care facility, the voter can designate an ""authorized agent"" to deliver their completed absentee ballot application to the county clerk's office in person. No person can serve as an authorized agent for more than 2 voters in an election. The administrator of a hospital, long-term care facility, or residential care facility must describe the medical issue on an affidavit and indicate on the affidavit that the medical issue prevents the voter from casting a ballot at the polls. The authorized agent must show this affidavit to the county clerk before the county clerk will give the authorized agent a blank absentee ballot to deliver to the voter. The authorized agent must also show a current photo ID.

Additionally, a voter who lives in a long-term care facility or residential care facility may, in writing, designate the administrator of the facility to deliver their completed absentee ballot application to the county clerk's office in person. The absentee ballot application must identify, by name, the administrator of the facility. The administrator must show the county clerk a photo ID before the county clerk will give the administrator a blank absentee ballot to deliver to the voter.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-07-14)

Ark. Code § 7-5-404 [link]

Ark. Code § 7-1-101(1), (4), (9) [link]

Ark. Code § 7-5-403 [link]

Deadline to return absentee ballots

If the absentee ballot is returned by the voter by mail, it must received no later than 7:30 p.m. on Election Day. If the voter returns the ballot in person at the county clerk's office, it must be received no later than the day before Election Day. If a designated bearer or authorized agent returns the voter's ballot, it must be returned in person at the county clerk's office no later than 7:30 p.m. on Election Day. If an administrator returns the voter's ballot, it can be returned in person or by mail, so long as it is received no later than 7:30 p.m. on Election Day.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-07-14)

Ark. Code § 7-5-411(a) [link]

Are there restrictions on who may return a voter's absentee mail ballot for them?

A voter can designate a ""designated bearer"" to deliver their completed absentee ballot application to the county clerk's office in person, deliver a blank absentee ballot to the voter, and then return the voter's completed absentee ballot to the county clerk's office. No person can serve as a designated bearer for more than 2 voters in an election. The designated bearer must show a current photo ID before the county clerk will give the designated bearer a ballot to deliver to the voter, and they must also show the ID when delivering the voter's completed absentee ballot.

Alternatively, if a voter has an unforeseen medical issue that prevents them from voting at the polls on Election Day and the voter is a patient in a hospital, long-term care facility, or residential care facility, the voter can designate an ""authorized agent"" to deliver their completed absentee ballot application to the county clerk's office in person, deliver the voter a blank absentee ballot, and then return the voter's completed absentee ballot. No person can serve as an authorized agent for more than 2 voters in an election. The administrator of a hospital, long-term care facility, or residential care facility must describe the medical issue on an affidavit and indicate on the affidavit that the medical issue prevents the voter from casting a ballot at the polls. The authorized agent must show this affidavit to the county clerk before the county clerk will give the authorized agent a blank absentee ballot to deliver to the voter. The authorized agent must also show a current photo ID when delivering the voter's completed absentee ballot.

Additionally, a voter who lives in a long-term care facility or residential care facility may, in writing, designate the administrator of the facility to deliver their completed absentee ballot application to the county clerk's office in person. The absentee ballot application must identify, by name, the administrator of the facility. The administrator must show the county clerk a photo ID before the county clerk will give the administrator a blank absentee ballot to deliver to the voter. The administrator may return the voter's completed absentee ballot in person or by mail.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-07-14)

Ark. Code § 7-5-404 [link]

Ark. Code § 7-1-101(1), (4), (9) [link]

Ark. Code § 7-5-403 [link]

Are there any special emergency rules that allow a voter to vote absentee by mail if they are unable to make it to the polls at the last minute?

Yes. If a voter has an unforeseen medical issue that prevents them from voting at the polls on Election Day and the voter is a patient in a hospital, long-term care facility, or residential care facility, the voter can designate an ""authorized agent"" to deliver their completed official absentee ballot application to the county clerk's office in person, deliver the voter a blank absentee ballot, and then return the voter's completed absentee ballot. No person can serve as an authorized agent for more than 2 voters in an election. The administrator of a hospital, long-term care facility, or residential care facility must describe the medical issue on an affidavit and indicate on the affidavit that the medical issue prevents the voter from casting a ballot at the polls. The authorized agent must show this affidavit to the county clerk before the county clerk will give the authorized agent a blank absentee ballot to deliver to the voter. The authorized agent must also show a current photo ID when delivering the voter's completed absentee ballot

The authorized agent must submit the voter's absentee ballot application no later than 1:30 p.m. on Election Day, and they must submit the voter's completed absentee ballot no later than 7:30 p.m. on Election Day.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-07-14)

Ark. Code § 7-5-404(a)(3)(A)(iv) [link]

Ark. Code § 7-5-411(a)(2) [link]

Ark. Code § 7-5-403 [link]

Ark. Code § 7-1-101(4) [link]

Are lists of people who vote absentee by mail published? How?

Each county clerk is required to keep a list of those who applied for absentee ballots and copies of the absentee ballot applications themselves. The lists and applications are available to public inspection during regular business hours beginning 60 days before the election until they are destroyed after Election Day. Additionally, information on who submitted absentee ballot applications and absentee ballots, and the dates on when they were submitted, is recorded in the statewide voter registration list, which is available for public inspection and copying.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-07-14)

Ark. Code § 7-5-408 [link]

Ark. Const. amend. 51, § 14 [link]

Ark. Code § 7-5-109 [link]

Presidential-only ballots

Under federal law, any registered voter who moves out of the state after the 30th day before a Presidential election may vote for President and Vice President either in person at the voter’s previous state of residence or using an absentee ballot from the voter’s previous state of residence.

Absentee Voting for Military and Overseas Voters

Who is eligible for military/overseas absentee voting?

The following voters are eligible for military/overseas voting, if they will be absent from their home county on Election Day:

  • Members of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Officer Corps, or Merchant Marine who are on active duty, and their spouses and independents who are absent from their home due to the member's active service;
  • Citizens living or temporarily outside of the territorial limits of the US and DC
Source (confirmed on: 2016-07-14)

Ark. Code § 7-5-406(a) [link]

Ark. Code § 7-1-101(35) [link]

How do voters apply for a military/overseas ballot?

A voter may use the regular absentee ballot application process (see the above section on Absentee Voting by Mail for details) or they may apply using the Federal Postcard Application (FPCA).

Source (confirmed on: 2016-07-14)

Ark. Code § 7-5-404(c) [link]

Ark. Code § 7-5-406(a) [link]

Deadline to apply for a military/overseas ballot

If submitted in person at the county clerk's office, the absentee ballot application must be turned in by the close of business on the day before the election. If submitted by mail, fax, or e-mail, the absentee ballot application must be received 7 days before the election.

Different rules apply to absentee ballot submitted on behalf of the voter by someone else. An application submitted by a designated bearer must be submitted in person and received no later than the day before the election. An application submitted by an authorized agent of the voter must be submitted in person and received by 1:30 p.m. on Election Day. An application submitted by an administrator of a state-licensed long-term care or residential care facility must be submitted in person and received no later than the day before Election Day.

If a voter requests an absentee ballot using an informal letter (rather than on the official application form), the letter must be received by the clerk 7 days before Election Day, regardless of how the voter submits it.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-07-14)

Ark. Code § 7-1-101(1), (4) [link]

Ark. Code § 7-5-404 [link]

Deadline to return the military/overseas ballot

Military/overseas absentee ballots must be postmarked no later than Election Day and received no later than 10 days after Election Day.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-07-14)

Ark. Code § 7-5-411(a)(1)(B) [link]

Who is eligible to use a write-in absentee ballot? How does it work?

Any military or overseas voter may use a Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot to vote.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-07-14)

Ark. Code § 7-5-406(a) [link]

On Election Day

Where do you vote in person?

Where do you vote in person?

Voters cast their ballot in the polling place assigned to their precinct. One polling place may be assigned to multiple precincts or parts of precincts.

Additionally, the county clerk has the option of establishing one or more vote centers in addition to precinct polling places. Voter centers are central areas where voters from across the county can choose cast their ballots regardless of the precincts where they live.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-07-14)

Ark. Code § 7-1-101 [link]

Ark. Code § 7-5-101 [link]

What hours are the polls open on Election Day?

What hours are the polls open on Election Day?

7:30 a.m. - 7:30 p.m. People in line waiting to vote at 7:30 p.m. must be allowed to vote.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-07-14)

Ark. Code § 7-5-304(a) [link]

In the Voting Booth

Can a voter bring children into the voting booth with them?

Yes.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-07-14)

Ark. Code § 7-5-310(a)(3)(d) [link]

Are employers required to give employees time off to vote?

Are employers required to give employees time off to vote?

Yes, employers must schedule the work hours of their employees on Election Days so that each employee will have an opportunity to vote.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-07-14)

Ark. Code § 7-1-102 [link]

Campaigning, Electioneering, and Recording Devices

Are there restrictions on campaigning/electioneering during early voting/absentee in-person voting?

On early voting days, it is illegal to hand out or distribute or offer to hand out or distribute any campaign literature or any literature regarding any candidate or issue on the ballot, solicit signatures on any petition, solicit contributions for any charitable or other purpose, or do any electioneering of any kind whatsoever during early voting hours in the building or within 100 feet of the primary exterior entrance used by voters to the building containing the early voting site nor engage in those activities with persons standing in line to vote.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-07-14)

Ark. Code § 7-1-103(a)(9)(B) [link]

Ark. Code § 7-5-418(f) [link]

Are there restrictions on campaigning/electioneering on Election Day?

no person shall hand out or distribute or offer to hand out or distribute any campaign literature or any literature regarding any candidate or issue on the ballot, solicit signatures on any petition, solicit contributions for any charitable or other purpose, or do any electioneering of any kind whatsoever in the building or within one hundred feet (100') of the primary exterior entrance used by voters to the building containing the polling place on election day.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-07-14)

Ark. Code § 7-1-103(a)(9)(A) [link]

Can a voter wear a button or t-shirt with a candidate's name or logo on it into the polling place when they vote?

No.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-07-14)

Ark. Code § 7-1-103(a)(9)(A) [link]

*NEW 1** Can a voter use a digital or recording device (such as a cell phone or camera) inside the polling place or voting booth?

Yes. However, a voter cannot take photographs or videos of their marked ballot in the voting booth or in the polling place.

Source (confirmed on: 10/7/2016)

Ark. Code § 7-1-103(a)(22) [link]

http://law.justia.com/codes/arkansas/2015/title-7/chapter-1/section-7-1-104/ [link]

*NEW 2** Can a voter use a digital or recording device (such as a cell phone or camera) outside the polling place but within the zone around the polling place where campaigning/electioneering is banned?

State law does not address this issue. Local practices may vary.

Source (confirmed on: 10/7/2016)

Ark. Code § 7-1-104(a)(6) [link]

Who's at the Polls?

Can persons other than election workers observe inside the polls?

Yes.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-07-14)

Ark. Code § 7-5-312 [link]

What are observers inside the polls called in the state?

Poll watchers and authorized representatives.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-07-14)

Ark. Code § 7-5-312 [link]

Does the state establish requirements to observe inside the polls?

Each candidate political party that has a candidate on the ballot, and group seeking passage or defeat of a ballot measure, may appoint one authorized representative to serve as a poll watcher in each precinct where the candidate, political party, or issue appears on the ballot. Any person may serve as a poll watcher, except a candidate cannot serve as a poll watcher while the polls are open and can only observe the vote tabulation after the polls close. All poll watchers except for candidates must show poll workers an official "Poll Watcher Authorization Form" signed by the candidate, party, or group that appointed them, and the form must be notarized.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-07-14)

Ark. Admin. Code § 108.00.9-903 [link]

Ark. Code § 7-5-312 [link]

*NEW 3* Can a poll observer use a digital or recording device (such as a cell phone or camera) in the polling place?

State law prohibits poll observers from photographing ballots, but does not address whether digital or recording devices may be used otherwise. Local practices may vary.

Source (confirmed on: 10/8/2016)

Ark. Code § 7-1-103(a)(22) [link]

Ark. Code § 7-1-104(a)(6) [link]

Are there other rules on what poll observers can or cannot do?

All poll watchers may:

  • Observe the election officials;
  • Stand close enough to the place where voters check in to vote so as to hear the voter's name;
  • Compile lists of voters.
  • Challenge a voter as an ineligible to vote on the ground that the voter is in the wrong precinct or has already voted in the election. A challenge must be made before the voter signs the precinct voter registration list. To make a challenge, a poll watcher must notify an election official and complete a ""Challenged Ballot Form.""
  • Call to the attention of the election sheriff any occurrence believed to be an irregularity or violation of election law. The poll watcher may not discuss the occurrence unless the election sheriff invites the discussion.
  • Be present at the opening, processing, and canvassing of absentee ballots for the purpose of challenging absentee votes.

Additionally, poll watchers appointed as authorized representatives of candidates and political parties (but not of groups) may:

  • Remain at the polling site after the poll closes if ballots are counted at the poll.
  • Be present at the counting of votes by hand or by an electronic vote tabulating device at a central location;
  • Be present at the counting of absentee ballots;
  • Upon request made to an election official, inspect any or all ballots at the time the ballots are being counted.

Poll watchers may not:

  • Be within six feet (6′) of any voting machine or booth used by voters to cast their ballot;
  • Speak to any voter or in any way attempt to influence a voter inside the polling site or within one hundred feet (100′) of the primary exterior entrance used by voters to the building containing the polling site.
  • Disrupt the orderly conduct of the election.
Source (confirmed on: 2016-07-14)

Ark. Code § 7-5-312 [link]

Provisional Voting and Voters at the Wrong Polling Place

When should a voter be offered a provisional ballot?

Under Section 203 of the federal Help America Vote Act of 2002, if a person claims to be a registered voter in the jurisdiction in which the person desires to vote and the person claims to be eligible to vote in a federal election, but the person’s name does not appear on the official list of eligible voters for the polling place or an election official asserts that the person is not eligible to vote, then that person must be permitted to cast a provisional ballot at that polling place. The person may cast the provisional ballot after executing, before an election official at the polling place, a written affirmation stating that the person is (1) a registered voter in the jurisdiction, and (2) eligible to vote in that election.

Additionally, any person who votes in a federal election as a result of a federal or state court order, or any other order extending the time established for closing the polls by a state law in effect 10 days before the date of that election, may only vote in that election by casting a provisional ballot. Any such ballot cast must be separated and held apart from other provisional ballots cast for different reasons.

Under state law, voters should be offered provisional ballots in the following circumstances:

  • The voter's name does not appear on the Precinct Voter Registration List and the voter's registration cannot be confirmed;
  • The Precinct Voter Registration List indicates the voter requested an absentee ballot or voted during the early voting period; or
  • The voter's right to vote is challenged by a poll watcher
    • The voter is a first-time voter in Arkansas who registered to vote by mail and has not met the identification requirement.
Source (confirmed on: 2016-07-14)

52 U.S.C. § 21082 (federal law) [link]

Ark. Code § 7-5-305(a)(8)(B)(iii) [link]

Ark. Admin. Code § 108.00.9-902 [link]

Ark. Code § 7-5-312 [link]

If a voter casts a provisional ballot at the wrong precinct, will the ballot be counted?

No.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-07-14)

Ark. Code § 7-5-308(d)(2) [link]

Following up on a provisional ballot

No follow up is necessary unless the county board of election commissioners initially determines that the voter is ineligible to vote. If this initial determination is made, the board will notify the voter of the time and place of a hearing that will be held to determine whether the voter's provisional ballot should count, and the voter will have an opportunity to present information there proving their eligibility.

A first-time voter who registered to vote by mail and failed to meet the identification required is not required to follow up and present ID, and their provisional ballot will be counted unless the board determines that the voter is ineligible to vote for a separate reason.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-07-14)

Ark. Admin. Code § 108.00.9-907 [link]

Finding out if a provisional ballot was counted

When a voter casts a provisional ballot, a poll worker will give the voter written information that describes how the voter can learn whether the vote was counted, and if not, the reason the vote was not counted.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-07-14)

Ark. Code § 7-5-308(c) [link]

Ballot Shortages/Voting Machine Malfunctions

What is the law or procedure on emergency ballots if a voting machine breaks or malfunctions?

If a voting machine malfunctions, the county board of election commissioners must deliver paper ballots to the polling place.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-07-14)

Ark. Code § 7-5-513 [link]

Voter ID and Challenges

Voter ID

Who must show ID to vote?

Only first-time voters in Arkansas who registered to vote by mail and did not meet the identification requirement before voting must show ID when they vote.

Other voters may be asked to show ID when voting, but they are not required to show it.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-07-14)

Ark. Code § 7-5-305(a)(8)(B)(iii) [link]

Ark. Code § 7-5-201(e) [link]

Are there any special requirements for first-time voters?

A first-time voter in Arkansas who registered to vote by mail and did not include with their voter registration application one of the below forms of ID must show one of these forms of ID the polls or include a copy of such an ID when casting their absentee ballot:

  • A current and valid photo identification; or
  • A current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document that shows the name and address of the voter

However, first-time voters in Arkansas who registered to vote by mail and wrote on their voter registration application a valid Arkansas driver's license number, state ID card number, or the last four digits of their Social Security Number are exempt from having provide ID when voting.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-07-14)

Ark. Code § 7-5-201(e) [link]

What ID is acceptable?

For those first-time voters in Arkansas who registered to vote by mail and did not meet the identification requirement before voting, the following forms of ID are acceptable:

  • A current and valid photo identification; or
  • A current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document that shows the name and address of the voter
Source (confirmed on: 2016-07-14)

Ark. Code § 7-5-201(e) [link]

Is a student ID an acceptable form of identification?

Yes, so long as it either (1) is a current and valid photo identification, or (2) was issued by a public (not private) school, is current, and shows the name and address of the voter.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-07-14)

Ark. Code § 7-5-201(e) [link]

Does the address on the ID have to match the address at which the voter is registered?

An address match is not necessary for photo ID, but it is necessary for other forms of ID (a utility bill, paycheck, government document, etc.).

Source (confirmed on: 2016-07-14)

Ark. Code § 7-5-201(e) [link]

If a voter has no ID, are there alternatives such as an oath or witness?

The voter may cast a provisional ballot.

The voter is not required to follow up and present ID after the election. The voter's provisional ballot will be counted unless the county board of election commissioners determines that the voter is ineligible to vote for a separate reason.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-07-14)

Ark. Admin. Code § 108.00.9-907 [link]

Ark. Code § 7-5-305(a)(8)(B)(iii) [link]

Do elections without federal offices on the ballot (such as off-year gubernatorial elections) have different ID requirements?

No.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-07-14)

Ark. Code § 7-5-201(e) [link]

Challenges to Voters at the Polling Place

Who can challenge a voter at the polling place?

Poll watchers.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-07-14)

Ark. Admin. Code § 108.00.9-903 [link]

Ark. Code § 7-5-312 [link]

What are the allowed reasons on which a voter can be challenged at the polling place?

A poll watcher may challenge a voter only on the grounds that the voter is not eligible to vote in the precinct or that the voter has previously voted at that election.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-07-14)

Ark. Code § 7-5-312 [link]

Is there a requirement for the challenger to provide cause or evidence?

No, except that the poll watcher must fill out and sign a "challenged ballot form."

Source (confirmed on: 2016-07-14)

Ark. Code § 7-5-312 [link]

How does a voter defend their eligibility to vote if they are challenged?

The voter must complete an "eligibility affirmation," which is a written statement that the challenged person is an eligible voter. The challenged voter must vote on a provisional ballot. The county board then preliminarily reviews the voter's information. If upon preliminary review, if the board makes an initial determination that the voter is ineligible to cast the ballot, then the board will notify the voter of the time and place of a hearing at which the voter can present evidence proving their eligibility.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-07-14)

Ark. Admin. Code § 108.00.9-907 [link]

Ark. Code § 7-5-312 [link]

State and Local Election Officials

The State Election Authority

Who/what is the state election authority?

Secretary of State, who chairs the State Board of Election Commissioners

Source (confirmed on: 2016-07-14)

Ark. Const. amend. 51, § 5(b)(1) [link]

Ark. Code § 7-4-101 [link]

Current official

Mark Martin

Source (confirmed on: 2016-07-14)

Ark. Sec. of State, Mark's Biography [link]

E-mail

ElectionsEmail@sos.arkansas.gov

Source (confirmed on: 2016-07-14)

Ark. Sec. of State, Elections Division [link]

Phone

501-682-5070

Source (confirmed on: 2016-07-14)

Ark. Sec. of State, Elections Division [link]

Address

State Capitol 500 Woodlane Street, Room 026 Little Rock, AR 72201

Source (confirmed on: 2016-07-14)

Ark. Sec. of State, Elections Division [link]

Local Election Authorities

What local election official(s) are in charge of major state-level elections (such as the even-year November general elections)?

County board of election commissioners

Source (confirmed on: 2016-07-14)

Ark. Code § 7-4-107 [link]

What is the county-level election official?

County board of election commissioners

Source (confirmed on: 2016-07-14)

Ark. Code § 7-4-107 [link]

What is the municipal-level election official?

County board of election commissioners

Source (confirmed on: 2016-07-14)

Ark. Code § 7-4-107 [link]

Contact information for local election authorities

Click here.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-07-14)

Find Your Election Commissioner [link]

The Voter File

Voter File Basics

National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) Disclosure Law

Section 8 of the federal NVRA requires that each State maintain for at least 2 years and make available for public inspection and, where available, photocopying at a reasonable cost, all records concerning the implementation of programs and activities conducted for the purpose of ensuring the accuracy and currency of official lists of eligible voters, except to the extent that such records contain information about a person declining to register to vote or information about the identity of a voter registration agency through which a particular voter might have chosen to register.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-07-14)

52 U.S.C. § 20507 [link]

Acquiring a Voter File

Under state procedure, who may acquire a voter file?

Any person. Click [here][http://www.sos.arkansas.gov/elections/Documents/ARSOS_Data_Request_Form.pdf) to download a request form.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-07-14)

Ark. Const. amend. 51, § 14 [link]

Ark. Code § 7-5-109 [link]

Who is the state-level contact for acquiring a voter file?

Secretary of State. Contact the office by e-mail at voterservices@sos.arkansas.gov or by phone at 1-800-247-3312.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-07-14)

Arkansas Voter Registration Data Request Form [link]

How much does the state charge for the file?

2.5

Source (confirmed on: 2016-07-14)

Arkansas Voter Registration Data Request Form [link]

What format is the file available in?

ASCII text files with comma delimited double quoted fields (.CSV format)

Source (confirmed on: 2016-07-14)

Arkansas Voter Registration Data Request Form [link]

Use of the Voter File

Does the state have restrictions on commercial use of the voter file?

No.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-07-14)

Arkansas Voter Registration Data Request Form [link]

Does the state have restrictions on non-commercial use of the voter file?

No.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-07-14)

Arkansas Voter Registration Data Request Form [link]