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Absentee Voting in Arkansas

Absentee Voting in Arkansas

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Secretary of State offers guidelines for voters By Ralph Hardin [email protected] For some, getting to the polls to vote is impractical or even impossible, but that does not mean they can’t have their voices and choices counted.

Absentee voting allows those who are unable to visit a polling site during early voting or on election day to cast their ballots. The Arkansas Secretary of State’s Office offers a number of guidelines and instructions for absentee voters. On your application you may designate how you wish to receive your ballot: by picking it up in person, by mail, or bearer.

Please contact the Crittenden County Clerk at (870) 739-4434 with any questions about the absentee voting process.

To receive an absentee ballot, you need to request to have an absentee ballot application sent to you by contacting the County Clerk in the county where you are registered to vote.

You may also download an absentee ballot application.

Qualifications — To be qualified to vote an absentee ballot, you must meet one of the following criteria:

• 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

• 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

• You are a U.S. citizen whose residence is in Arkansas but is temporarily living outside the territorial limits of the United States.

There are deadlines for submission of an absentee ballot application:

• In Person: by close of business the day before the election (March 2, 2020, for the upcoming primary and judicial elections)

• By Designated Bearer or Administrator: by close of business the day before the election (Designated Bearer is anyone you choose to pick up or deliver your application or ballot)

• By Mail or by Electronic Means: by 7 days before the election • By Authorized Agent: by 1:30 p.m. on election day.

The authorized agent must file with the County Clerk an affidavit from the administrative head of a hospital or nursing home located in this state verifying that the applicant is a patient of the hospital or longterm care or residential care facility licensed by the state and is thereby unable to vote on the election day at his or her regular polling site.

There are also deadlines for ballot pickup:

• By Designated Bearers: no earlier than 15 days before a preferential primary election, general election, school election or special election and no earlier than 7 days before a runoff election.

• By Anyone Else: no deadline specified in Arkansas law. You should base your ballot pick up on the ability to return it to the County Clerk on time.

And there are deadlines for delivery of completed ballot to the County Clerk:

• In Person: by close of business the day before the election

• By Designated Bearer: by 7:30 p.m. on election day • By Mail: received at clerk’s office by 7:30 p.m. on election day.

You may not fax or email a ballot.

• By Authorized Agent: by 7:30 p.m. on election day For additional questions, you can also contact the Arkansas Secretary of State’s office with any questions or concerns at [email protected] sos.arkansas.gov.

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