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Arkansas Voter Education Resources

The Public Policy Center connects Arkansas voters with helpful information about the voting process. If you have questions about state or local ballot issues, or about where you can find more voter information, send us your question at publicpolicycenter@uada.edu.

Below are frequently asked questions about the voting process in Arkansas, as well as educational resources to use with children or adults learning about voting.

Registering to Vote in Arkansas

Registering to vote is the first step you must take if you want to participate in local, state and federal elections in Arkansas.

There are some basic requirements you must meet to vote in Arkansas elections, including (1) Being an Arkansas resident, (2) Being a United States Citizen, (3) Being 18 or older, (4) Have not been convicted of a felony, or if you have been convicted of a felony, have completed your sentence and paid off all fines ("being off paper"), and (5) Have not been judged mentally incompetent by a court.

No. In Arkansas, people must fill out a paper voter registration form. You can mail the completed form to your county clerk's office or drop it off at their office in person.

You can pick up a paper voter registration application in several different locations in your community. 

If you don't see the forms on displayed on a table at the location, ask an employee for help.

You can also print off a paper application from the Secretary of State's website. 

You can also ask the Secretary of State to mail you a voter registration application.

Arkansans can register to vote at any time. If you want to vote in a specific election, you must be registered at least 30 days before an election.

Yes. The application lists three possible check boxes for an ID number:

  • A line to write your driver's license number

  • A line to write the last four digits of your Social Security Number if you do not have a driver's license.

  • A box to check if you have neither a driver's license number nor a Social Security Number. With this option you may be asked to provide other documentation to establish your identity.

Life is complicated so this is a good question. You can only register to vote at one address.

  • If you work in a different city, county or state than where you live or if own property in multiple locations, remember to register to vote at the address where you live.

  • If you own multiple houses and live at each of them during different parts of the year, choose one address as your voting location.

  • If you are in the military, you would register to vote in the state of your legal residence that you also use for state income tax purposes.

  • If you are a college student, this is your decision to make based on whatever is most convenient for you. You can register to vote where you are attending college or register to vote where your parents live.

    Do you intend to move back home? If so, the Arkansas Secretary of State advises college students to register to vote in their parents’ home county. If you do not plan to move back home, the Secretary of State advises college students register to vote where they are in school.

To vote in an upcoming election, a person must submit a voter registration form at least 30 days prior to the election. A 17-year-old may register to vote ahead of time, but can only vote if he or she is 18 as of Election Day.

People who have been convicted of felonies can vote in Arkansas only after they have completed their sentence and paid off all fines and fees. 

Steps To Restoring Voting Rights

  1. Obtain proof from the appropriate state or local agencies that all of the requirements have been completed OR proof that the record has been sealed.

  2. Submit proof to the Voter Registration Department of the county clerk’s office where the person convicted of a felony now resides.

  3. Complete an Arkansas Voter Registration Application and return it to the Voter Registration Department of the county clerk’s office.

Source: Pulaski County Clerk's Office

 

How To Check Your Voter Registration Information

It's good to check your voter registration status every now and then to make sure your address is up to date. 

There are several ways to check if you are currently registered to vote in Arkansas, as well as to check your voter registration information to make sure it's up to date.

If it has been more than two weeks since you submitted your voter registration form, call your county clerk’s office.

Phone numbers for the county clerk offices in Arkansas can be found at https://www.sos.arkansas.gov/uploads/elections/County_Clerk_Contact_List_-_Rev._8-19-2020_.pdf 

If you moved from one county or state to another county or state, then yes.

If you moved within the same county or city, update your voter information with the county clerk. The clerk may ask you to fill out another form.

State law requires that you submit your updated registration to the county clerk in your new county no later than four days before a scheduled election so you can vote there. If your application arrives less than four days before an election, you will not be eligible to vote in your new county for that election.

Yes. This helps county clerks remove erroneous information from their voter rolls.

 

Voting in Arkansas

Registering to vote is behind you. You are ready to finally vote. But you have questions.

Even long-time voters have questions about the process. Voting may look different from county to county - some county election workers may hand you a paper ballot whereas in another location you may be voting on a machine.

Your county clerk's office is the best place to seek answers about your particular situation, but the basic Q&As below may be helpful, too.

This information is public record. You can look at an example of your election ballot a head of time to help research or prepare to vote.

Many newspapers publish sample ballots or the information you will see on Election Day. You can often find a sample ballot online on a county clerk or election commission website, too.

Examples of your ballot can also be found on the Secretary of State's Voter View website, www.voterview.ar-nova.org/VoterView. 

Most Arkansas counties participate in this information sharing. If you do not find your sample ballot, contact your county clerk's office. 

The address for the building where you are supposed to vote may change depending on the type of election. (For example, early voting versus a special election versus a federal election).

Look at the voter registration card you received when you first registered to vote. The card should have an address for where you are assigned to vote.

Many counties in Arkansas have also started using "Voting Centers," or a voting location that is open to everyone in the county to cast their vote. 

Still unsure? Contact your county clerk's office or check out the Secretary of State's Voter View website for voting locations, www.voterview.ar-nova.org

Early voting hours may vary by county but on Election Day itself, voting locations are open from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. 

Contact your county clerk for early voting hours and locations.

Arkansas lawmakers and voters have passed laws requiring people show photo identification in order to vote in any election. Recently, Act 249 of 2021 removed the option for voters to sign an affidavit instead swearing to their identity.

Voting in-person

  • Voters are required to present their photo ID to election workers. The identification must not be expired by more than four years.
  • Election workers will accept these photo IDs as proof of identity:
    • An Arkansas driver's license
    • An Arkansas state ID
    • An Arkansas concealed carry handgun license
    • A U.S. passport
    • A U.S. military ID document
    • A student or employee ID card issued by a postsecondary educational institution
    • A public assistance ID card with photo issued by Arkansas or the federal government
    • A voter ID card with photo issued by the County Clerk
    • Detailed  list of Verification of Voter Registration ID requirements
  • If the required ID is not provided, the voter will have until noon on the Monday following the election to present the required ID in person to the county clerk or the county board of election commissioners.

Voting with an absentee ballot

  • Absentee voters are required to provide a copy of their photo ID when they return their absentee ballot. See above for a list of acceptable photo IDs. 

  • If the required ID is not provided, the voter will have until noon on the Monday following the election to present the required ID in person to the county clerk or the county board of election commissioners.

Source: Washington County Election Commission: www.washingtoncountyar.gov/government/departments-a-e/election-commission/new-voter-id-law/voter-id-breakdown 

Voting by absentee ballot is a multi-step process with its own deadlines. Find information about how to apply for and receive an absentee ballot on the Secretary of State's Office website.

Under Arkansas law, voters have 10 minutes to complete their ballot when voting in person.

 

How to Host a Voter Registration Drive

Anyone can distribute voter registration applications in Arkansas.

If you are hosting a voter registration drive, check out the Secretary of State’s tips at
www.sos.arkansas.gov/uploads/elections/voter_drive.pdf 

Find phone numbers and emails for county clerks in Arkansas at https://www.sos.arkansas.gov/uploads/elections/County_Clerk_Contact_List_-_Rev._8-19-2020_.pdf 

 

Additional Voter Education Resources

Tips to Staying Safe While Voting

Bring your photo ID and a plan to stay safe to the polls. What does a plan to stay safe during a pandemic look like?

Make a plan 

Citizen-Initiative Ballot Access

The process citizens must follow to put a constitutional amendment, state law or referendum on their statewide ballot differs from state to state.  

Comparison of Ballot Access Requirements

 

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