MAKE A PLAN TO VOTE
1. Verify Voter Registration
– Make sure you’re registered to vote HERE
2. Decide how to vote
- Vote from Home. Also known as absentee voting or vote by mail, this method of voting is a great option for individuals who are traveling, aren’t able to vote in person, or prefer to vote from home.
- Vote Early. Registered Arkansas voters can cast their ballot in person during the two weeks leading up to Election Day.
- Vote on Election Day. Election Day in person voting is classic. Polls are open statewide from 7:30am to 7:30pm.
3 – If You Decide to Vote From Home
- Fill out an absentee ballot application. Download the application HERE. The deadline to submit an absentee ballot application by mail is 7 days before the election.
- Once your ballot arrives, complete it with your selections.
- Provide a copy of your valid ID.
- Return your ballot by the election deadline. Completed absentee ballots returned by mail must be received at the clerks office by 7:30 p.m. on Election Day in order to be counted.
- Learn more about absentee voting HERE.
4 – If You Decide to Vote In Person
- Grab your ID. Most photo ID cards issued by the United States, the State of Arkansas, or an accredited post-secondary educational institution in the State of Arkansas are considered valid identification. Voters who do not possess a valid ID may obtain a free voter verification card at their county clerk’s office.
- Show up at the polls. Your polling site is listed on your voter registration card or you can find it HERE.
- Check in. There will be poll workers there to greet you. They will ask you for your name, to see your ID, and to confirm your current address.
- Sign your name. Now you can go vote!
- Learn more about voting in Arkansas HERE
5. Cast Your Ballot
- Paper or Plastic. Depending on your polling site, you may cast your vote on a paper ballot or on an electronic machine. Some polling sites may give you the option to decide how you’d like to cast your vote.
- Instructions provided. A poll worker will walk you through how to fill out, review, and submit your electronic or paper ballot.
- Complete your ballot. If you have questions about how to fill out the ballot, ask a poll worker for assistance. They’ll be glad to help.
- Cast your vote! Easy peasy, right? All that’s left is grabbing your “I Voted” sticker and posting some selfies on social media.
What to expect from your ballot
Here are some of the elections that may appear on your ballot.
Justices of the Peace (JP) serve on the Quorum Court, but they don’t have judicial responsibilities. Think of them as the city council of your county. They manage the county budget, county emergency and law enforcement services, and county infrastructure, like roads and bridges. Most counties are split into different JP districts, and each JP runs for reelection every 4 years.
The city council members (sometimes called aldermen) work with the mayor to run the city’s affairs, things like utilities, roads, parking, sidewalks, city laws, zoning requirements, etc. Cities are divided up into wards, and many cities have two council members per ward. Their re-election years are staggered. Every city does this a bit differently. Contact your city clerk or mayor’s office for detailed information.
Your mayor is like the President or CEO of your city. They work with the city council and city departments to carry out the affairs of the city. Additionally, mayors often play an important role in local economic development.
The Arkansas House of Representatives is made up of 100 elected State Representatives. They meet at the state capitol building in Little Rock to pass new laws, debate public policy matters, set levels for state spending, and raise or lower taxes. State Rep races are partisan races, meaning they have a political party affiliation. Each State Rep is elected to represent approximately 31,000 Arkansans in their district. Due to redistricting, all 100 Arkansas State Reps will be up for reelection in 2022.
There are 35 State Senators in Arkansas who meet in Little Rock to write laws that affect Arkansans. State Senate races are partisan, meaning they have a political party affiliation. They tend to represent large regions of the state. The average state senator represents around 83,000 Arkansans. State Reps and State Senators work together to pass legislation, set the state budget, and determine how tax dollars are spent. Due to redistricting, all 35 State Senators are up for reelection in 2022.
In 2022, some judge races will be on the ballot. These are non-partisan races, meaning these judges are not affiliated with a political party. Elected judges in Arkansas, are tasked with interpreting and applying laws accurately. Judicial districts tend to span multiple counties. Most judicial races will be decided in the May primary election and will appear on both Party’s primary ballots.
Arkansas has four Congressional districts that span massive stretches of the state. Congressional Representatives are elected to go to Washington, D.C. and represent Arkansans in the nation’s capital. Every two years, each of these positions is up for reelection.
Arkansas has two Senators who each represent the whole state. Each Senator has to run for reelection every 6 years; some years, there are no Senate races on the ballot. Senators are elected to represent the whole state in Washington, DC. They work with the House of Representatives (Congress) to get legislation to the President, to be signed into law.