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Fort Smith/Fayetteville News | 5newsonline KFSM 5NEWS | Get the local news and weather where you live from 5NEWS. Covering Fort Smith, Fayetteville, Bentonville, and all of Northwest Arkansas and the River Valley.

Arkansas Voter's Guide: What to know before heading to the polls

Get the information you need to cast your ballot in the 2020 general election in Arkansas.

ARKANSAS, USA — Election day is November 3, 2020, and several important local and national races will be decided. Here's what you need to know to ensure you can cast your ballot in Arkansas.  

Need-to-know dates

  • Election Day: Tuesday, November 3
  • Deadline to register by mail: Monday, October 5
  • Deadline to register for voting in person: Monday, October 5
  • Deadline to request an absentee ballot (must be received by): Tuesday, October 27
  • Early voting period: from Monday, October 19 to Monday, November 2

Registering to vote/requesting an absentee ballot:

You must be registered to vote in Arkansas. 

Follow our guide on how to ensure you're registered to vote in Arkansas, and what you need to know about requesting an absentee ballot due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (This is a guide, but it's important to note that you should call your local county clerk's office if you have further questions about registering to vote and absentee ballots.) 

Print a voter registration application from your computer (English application, Spanish application).

RELATED: Arkansas Voter's Guide 2020: Registering to vote & requesting an absentee ballot

RELATED: How to complete the absentee ballot packet

RELATED: Arkansas Voters Guide: Benton County Clerk encourages voters to request absentee ballots before deadline

How votes are tallied in Arkansas:

5NEWS spoke with local election officials to better understand how votes are counted in Arkansas. This is important to know because there will be a surplus of absentee ballots cast this year due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. This could lead to a longer than usual wait for election results. 

RELATED: Arkansas Voter's Guide: How votes are tallied during the general election

How the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting polling locations:

5NEWS spoke with local election officials to see what impact the current COVID-19 pandemic will have on polling locations in Arkansas, and what safety practices are being implemented to encourage social distancing. Also, the pandemic has created a need for more poll workers in the state. Find out how you can volunteer below. 

RELATED: Arkansas Voter's Guide: Why poll workers are needed more than ever during the COVID-19 pandemic

Our voter's guide will expand as we get closer to the general election on November 3, 2020. Please check back for details about who will be on the ballot this year, and how COVID-19 will impact polling sites.