BY STATE REPRESENTATIVE NATE BELL –
October 5 is the last day you can register to vote and be legally permitted to cast a ballot in the November general election. Because the deadline this year falls on a Sunday, applications will be accepted if filed prior to the close of business on October 6th.
The Secretary of State’s office reports that 1.6 million Arkansans are registered voters. This means that over a half million eligible voters have not registered.
Your vote this election will determine who will serve as our next Governor, Lieutenant Governor, our Congressman, one of our United States Senators, our Attorney General, our State Treasurer, the State Auditor, the Secretary of State, State Representative and numerous county & local offices. There are also several ballot initiatives and referred amendments which could impact everything from regulatory overreach to the sale of alcohol.
To register to vote in Arkansas you must be a U.S. citizen, reside in Arkansas at least 30 days prior to the first election in which you will vote, and be at least 18 years old prior to November 4. Young voters whose 18th birthday will occur before Election Day may register now.
There are several ways to register. You can apply by mail by obtaining an application from your county clerk or the Secretary of State’s office.
You can also fill out an application in person at:
- ·County clerk’s office
- ·State Revenue office
- ·Public library
- ·Public assistance agency
- ·Disability agency
- ·Military recruiting office
- ·Arkansas National Guard
You should not consider yourself registered until you receive acknowledgement from your county clerk. If you do not receive acknowledgement in the mail within two weeks, you should call your county clerk and check on the status of your application. You can check your voter registration status online by visiting www.voterview.org
Please remember to have your photo identification ready to present at the voting booth. If you do not have an identification card, you can obtain a voter ID free of charge at your local county clerk’s office.
Early voting begins October 20. I encourage you to study the races and the issues before heading to the polls. You can find more information on voting regulations and sample ballots at www.votenaturally.org.