FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — We are a little more than a month away from the November election and this year more people than ever before are requesting an absentee ballot.
Local election commissioners are warning people to pay extra attention to instructions on how to fill them out.
Hundreds of absentee ballots are going out every day to those who completed their application early.
Not returning your ballot by election day is one of the ways that can prevent it from being counted.
“If you wait until the (October) 27 that time frame is so short from when we can process your application, the ballot is mailed, then you receive it, and have time to return it," said Jennifer Price, Washington County Election Commission Executive Director.
The most critical part of your absentee ballot is the voter statement. It comes with step-by-step instructions for you to follow so that your vote counts.
A checklist is included and red arrows indicate where you need to sign.
You must include your name, signature, date of birth, address where you are registered to vote and a copy of your photo ID.
“If anyone of those things is incorrect or not included on the voter statement then we are unable to count your absentee ballot," Price said.
In the event that you make a mistake on your ballot while you have the option of requesting a new one voters can also fix any blunders.
“If you just marked the wrong box or if you marked something incorrectly, you need to mark the correct one and make that very clear," said Channing Barker, Benton County Communications Director.
Your ballot comes with an envelope that signals to the post office that what’s inside is election mail.
"The post office is legally required to deliver all election mail to the Benton County Clerk’s Office regardless if it’s short on postage or not," Barker said.
Every Saturday in October the Washington County Clerk’s Office is offering curbside absentee drop-off from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
"Their office will be set up outside at the parking deck and there will be an election official who will meet you at your car and you will just need to show your ID," Price said.
Officials say with the election fast approaching it’s critical to plan your vote ahead of time.
The Benton County election commission is holding a Q&A this Wednesday (Sept. 30) for voters.
To pre-register for the Q & A click here.
You submit questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.