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

Do you want to vote in the 2020 election in Arkansas? Here's what you need to know about registering to vote and requesting an absentee ballot.

ARKANSAS, USA — Before heading to the polls this November, or requesting an absentee ballot, there's one crucial thing Arkansans must do - make sure you are registered to vote.

Ark. voter registration qualifications

Here are the qualifications that you must meet to register to vote in Arkansas, according to the Arkansas Secretary of State.

  • Must be a U.S. citizen.
  • Must be an Arkansas resident.
  • Must be age 18 or turn 18 on or before the next election.
  • Must not be a convicted felon whose sentence has not been discharged or pardoned.
  • Must not be presently adjudged as mentally incompetent as to your ability to vote by a court of competent jurisdiction.

How to register to vote in Arkansas

If you fit all of those requirements, then you are eligible to vote in Arkansas. Here's what to do next. 

You must complete an Arkansas voter registration application

Here's a list of places where you can access an Arkansas voter registration application:

Once you have the application completed, you can take it in-person to your local county clerk's office, or mail the form to the Arkansas Secretary of State's office 30 days before the election (postmark the date).  

After your application is processed, you will receive a personalized voter registration card by mail. This process could take several weeks to complete, according to the Arkansas Secretary of State. You may track your application's process by visiting this website or by calling your local county clerk's office. 

You must register to vote in the county/city where you live. Owning property or a business does not constitute residency there, according to the Arkansas Secretary of State. 

Requesting an absentee ballot in Ark. & submitting your ballot

Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson announced that voters could request an absentee ballot if they are concerned about voting in-person this year due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. 

RELATED: Arkansas to allow absentee voting due to COVID-19 concerns

RELATED: Arkansas Secretary of State releases statement on absentee voting

Once you're registered to vote in Arkansas, here is how you can request an absentee ballot. 

First, you must qualify for an absentee ballot in Arkansas. Here are the qualifications you must meet.

  • You will be unavoidably absent from your polling site on election day.
  • You will be unable to attend your polling site on election day due to illness or physical disability (including COVID-19 concerns). 
  • You are a member of the Uniformed Services, merchant marines, or the spouse or a dependant family member and are away from your polling location due to the member's active duty status.
  • A U.S. citizen whose residence is in Arkansas but is temporarily living outside the territorial limits of the United States.   

If you qualify, request to have an absentee ballot sent to you from your local county clerk's office. Complete the form and return it to the county clerk's office. You can also download the absentee ballot application online and return it in-person or by mail, email or fax to your local county clerk's office. 

FOLLOW THIS LINK FOR A STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE FOR COMPLETING THE ARKANSAS ABSENTEE BALLOT APPLICATION. 

Here are the deadlines for submitting an absentee ballot application in Arkansas after registering to vote.  

  • If you are submitting your absentee ballot application in-person at your county clerk's office, you must do it by close of business the day BEFORE the election
  • If you are submitting your absentee ballot application by mail or electronically, you must provide the form seven days BEFORE the election.

After your application is processed, you will receive an absentee ballot from your local county clerk's office or details on how to obtain your ballot (call your local county clerk's office if you have questions). 

Here are the deadlines for submitting an absentee ballot in Arkansas after completing your application.

  • If you are submitting an absentee ballot in-person in Arkansas to your county clerk's office, you must do it by close of business the day BEFORE the election.
  • If you are submitting an absentee ballot by mail in Arkansas (you may NOT fax or email a ballot), your ballot must be received by your local county clerk's office by 7:30 p.m. election night (Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020). 

If you have any questions about registering to vote in Arkansas or submitting an absentee ballot, please call your local county clerk's office as soon as possible. 

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