Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, and 5NEWS has everything you need to know before you vote in Arkansas.
According to the Associated Press, in the 2020 general election, held during the midst of the pandemic, 78 percent of votes were cast early in vote centers or by absentee. For the 2022 primary, early voting was 50 percent of votes cast, which was closer to past elections.
The early vote ballots are typically the first reported because they have been flowing into country clerk offices for weeks and are counted as they arrive. This means a large percent of the total vote is released within two hours of polls closing at 7:30 p.m. local time. In the 2020 general election, 50 percent of the vote was counted by 9:16 p.m. local time.
Arkansas is predominantly Republican. The state’s Democratic stronghold is Pulaski County, where Little Rock is located. Other counties that have voted Democrat in recent years are located in east Arkansas and Jefferson County, where Pine Bluff is located.
There are a number of ways you can vote in the general election.
For voters, it's important to know where and how to register to vote and check if you are registered.
Voting in Arkansas: Dates to know
While most Arkansans know that you'll be able to head to the polls to make your voice heard on Nov. 8, there are other important dates to keep an eye out for ahead of the big day. As always, remember to bring a valid government-issued ID.
- Early voting: Monday, Oct. 24 - Monday, Nov. 7 (times may vary by county)
- Deadline to request an absentee ballot: Tuesday, Nov. 1
- Deadline to return absentee ballot by mail: Tuesday, Nov. 8 by 7:30 p.m. (in-person deadline is Nov. 4).
- General election: Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022 from 7:30 a.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Click here to find a voting location near you.
What to bring: Identification
You will need to show an ID to vote in Arkansas. Acceptable forms of ID include:
- Arkansas driver's license
- Arkansas photo identification card
- concealed handgun carry license
- United States passport
- employee badge or identification document issued by an accredited postsecondary education institution in the State of Arkansas
- United States military identification document
- public assistance identification card if the card shows a photograph of the person to whom the document or identification card was issued
- voter verification card
If you're voting for the first time in Arkansas, registered to vote by mail, and didn't submit a copy of your ID when you registered, you will need to show your ID to vote. Acceptable forms include:
- Driver's license or non-driver's license ID
- Current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or another government document with your name and address
Voters without ID: If you are unable to provide I.D., you will be able to vote a provisional ballot. In order for your provisional ballot to be counted, you must return to your county board of election commissioners or county clerk by noon the Monday following the election and present a document or identification card meeting the requirements described above.
What to expect: Step by step
An election official will ask you to state your name, address and date of birth.
- The election official will request you provide an approved form of I.D.
- If you registered by mail after January 1, 2003, and did not submit the required I.D. with your voter registration application, you may be required to show I.D. to vote a regular ballot. Types of additional I.D., which must show the name and address of the voter, include a current and valid photo I.D.or a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck or other government document.
- If you don’t present the necessary identification, the election official will instruct you on voting a Provisional Ballot.
- In a primary election, you must state the party primary in which you wish to vote. If you don’t wish to cast a party ballot, you may choose to vote in the nonpartisan races only(which may include judicial and prosecuting attorney races, and other local issues such as tax increases).
- In a primary election, you’re allowed to vote only one party’s ballot or the nonpartisan ballot. The election official records which party’s ballot you choose.
- Next, you will sign the Precinct Voter Registration List, and the election official will add your name to the list of voters.
- The election official will give you a ballot or direct you to a voting machine.
- You will go alone to a voting booth and mark your ballot. You are allowed five minutes to vote.
- If you vote a paper ballot, you will deposit it into the ballot box or an electronic scanner.
The AP will count votes and declare winners in 95 contested elections in Arkansas, including one U.S. Senate race, the governor’s race and four U.S. House races.
In the 2020 general election, the AP first reported Arkansas results at 7:38 p.m. local time and 90% of results at 11:14 p.m. local time on election night.
Other stories on 2022 elections in Arkansas:
Ballot issues: Issues 1-4
This proposed measure would allow members of the state legislature to call themselves into special sessions under certain conditions.
What does your vote mean?
For: Your voting will allow state legislators to call themselves into special sessions and to set the agenda.
Against: You're voting against the state legislature having the ability to call itself into special sessions and set the agenda.
Supporters of Issue 1 say:
- Would allow that "special sessions remain special" by allowing legislators to call themselves into session.
- Would allow lawmakers to call themselves into special session to combat a governor "overstepping" their bounds.
Opponents of Issue 1 say:
- The current constitution provides that legislators meet once every year, alternating between a legislative session and a fiscal session. This would turn the legislature into a "full-time legislature."
- Leaving the authority to the governor to call a special session is fine.
This measure would require a 60% supermajority vote of approval in reference to constitutional amendments and statutes to be adopted.
Current law allows a ballot measure to pass with a majority of votes, also known as "50% plus one vote."
What does your vote mean?
For: Your vote will support changes to the 60% voter supermajority whenever a vote of approval is needed for constitutional amendments and new laws.
Against: You’re voting against the requirement of a 60% voter supermajority whenever a vote of approval is needed.
An amendment to the Arkansas Constitution that would prevent the government from “burdening” a person’s religious freedom.
It would ban state and local government bodies from "burdening the practice of religion" unless the government can prove a compelling reason to do so.
Read the full issue here.
What does your vote mean?
For: Your vote goes towards amending the state constitution to block the state and local governments from burdening the practice of any religion.
Against: Your vote is against amending the Arkansas constitution to block the government from burdening the practice of any religion.
This measure would legalize the recreational use and commercial sale of marijuana to those 21 and older.
In 2016, 53% of Arkansans voted to legalize the medical use of marijuana. This proposal would amend that amendment to provide for recreational use and allow cultivators and dispensaries to sell recreational marijuana.
Read the full issue here.
For: Your vote goes towards supporting the possession and usage of recreational marijuana by those that are over the age of 21.
Against: You’re voting against the possession and usage of recreational marijuana by those that are over the age of 21.
Races: What races are on the 2022 ballot?
- Chris Jones (Democratic Party)
- Sarah Huckabee Sanders (Republican Party)
- Ricky Dale Harrington Jr. (Libertarian Party)
- Dan Nelson (Independent) (Write-in)
- Elvis Presley (Independent) (Write-in)
- Jason Tate (Independent) (Write-in)
- Michael Woodard (Independent) (Write-in)
- Kelly Krout (D)
- Leslie Rutledge (R)
- Frank Gilbert (L)
- John Boozman (Incumbent) (R)
- Natalie James (D)
- Kenneth Cates (L)
- Stuart Shirrell (I)
- Richard Gant (I-write in)
- James Garner (I-write in)
- District 1: Rep. Rick Crawford (R), Monte Hodges (D), Roger Daugherty (I)
- District 2: Rep. French Hill (R), Quintessa Hathaway (D), Michael White (L)
- District 3: Rep. Steve Womack (R), Lauren Mallett-Hays (D), Michael Kalagias (L)
- District 4: Rep. Bruce Westerman (R), John White (D), Gregory Maxwell (L)
- Jesse Gibson (D)
- Tim Griffin (R)
- Gerhard Langguth (I) (Write-in)
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