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Legislative Update

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Updated: April 15, 2018

From State Representative DeAnn Vaught

The primary is one of the most important phases of any election. It gives the public the ability to decide the best candidate of each party. But far too often, voters skip the primary and vote only in the general election in November.

In 2016, more than 1.1 million Arkansans voted in November. The voter turnout was 64.65%. However, in the May primary only 644,523 Arkansans voted. The turnout in the primary was 38.39%.

We encourage you to make plans now to vote in the upcoming primary. It will be held on May 22. Early voting begins May 7.

The deadline to register to vote is Monday, April 23.

The ballot for the upcoming primary will vary in districts across the state and vary between political party.

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).

The Secretary of State’s office says that before considering yourself a registered voter, you must receive an acknowledgment of your registration from the county clerk.

Unfortunately each Election Day, many would-be first-time voters in Arkansas do not have their votes counted because they are not actually registered to vote. Many believed they had registered months before, but failed to follow up when they did not receive a voter ID card from their county clerk. The process of voter registration is convenient, but it also places responsibility on the registrant to ensure the process is completed.

Feel free to call your county clerk and inquire about the status of your application.

You may also check your voter registration status and find your polling location online by visiting www.voterview.org