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How to complete the absentee ballot packet

Benton County held a virtual show and tell Wednesday (Sept. 23) to show how the process works.

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — More people are expected to vote by absentee than ever this year and for many, this is the first time they’ve ever filled one out.

Benton County held a virtual show and tell Wednesday (Sept. 23) to show how the process works.

“The voter actually has to request that the ballot be sent to them,” said Benton County Clerk Betsy Harrell.

Being in the middle of a pandemic, Harrell says many people have requested an absentee ballot, so they had a webinar to go over key things.

“The process of opening the absentee ballot but it'll have to be filled out and go back with the ballot and mark the ballot and put it back in the ballot only envelope and some deadlines are going to have to meet to get those in on time,” Harrell said.

During the presentation, people learned what all comes in the absentee ballot.

“A return envelope, a ballot, a ballot only envelope and a voter statement. So the ballot will be voted, placed in the ballot only envelope and then that goes into the return envelope that has the county clerks address on the front of it,” Harrell said.

Harrell said when filling out the ballot it is important to make sure the voter form and ballot are filled out completely and signed before placed back in the envelope.

After putting it in the envelope you can then drop it off at the office or put two stamps on the envelope and send it off.

Brenda Taylor is a poll supervisor and says although she loves seeing people at the polls. She said she wants them to know they’ll also be taken care of as an absentee voter once you cast your vote

“We have drop off boxes for you to bring them back if you want or you can mail them. Anyway, they will get back to us and your vote will be counted,” Taylor said.

All absentee votes must be at the county clerks office by the time the polls close on Election Day. 

To help with social distancing the Benton County Clerks Office will offer outside ballot drop-offs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. every Saturday in October.

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

RELATED: First round of absentee ballots to soon be sent to Arkansas voters