Voter Registration in Arkansas
United States citizens can register to vote within their state of residency in order to participate in elections. Each state has specific rules designed to ensure only eligible residents are granted the right to vote. In Arkansas, certain procedures for voter registration are established for potential applicants. Approved voters must then follow relevant laws to retain this legal ability. Military and overseas residents are provided with special options for voting when they are unable to visit local precincts.
The process of requesting a voter registration card can be easily completed in Arkansas. A variety of accessible application methods are available for utilization. Because of this, applicants are able to use the method most convenient to their lifestyle. Drivers can even register when visiting local Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) offices in the state. Find out additional voter information for AR residents under the following sections.
Who can register to vote in Arkansas?
Arkansas residents who would like to register to vote must first confirm their eligibility in the state. Voting rights are only granted to those who meet each requirement established by law. To adhere to these standards, all applicants must:
- Be U.S. citizens
- Be Arkansas residents
- Be age 18 years old or older by the closest election date
Applicants who have been deemed mentally unstable by any court are not allowed voting rights. Additionally, convicted felons who have not been discharged or paroled for their sentence cannot vote in Arkansas.
Arkansas Voter Registration Deadline
Voter registration request forms must be provided within the established deadline for residents to participate in the most current election. Late applications will result in new voters being disqualified from casting a ballot until the following race. The submission deadline in Arkansas is no later than 30 days before a regular voting day.
How to Register to Vote in Arkansas
To complete voter registration in Arkansas, residents must fill out and present a voting application to the AR Secretary of State. The form can be submitted by mail or in person. Voters can obtain the application from a variety of accessible sources, such as:
- County Clerk offices
- AR SOS Elections Division office or website
- DMV offices
- Public libraries
- Disability agencies
- Armed forces recruitment locations
Residents must provide accurate personal information on the form. Required details include the name, date of birth, address, phone number and other related info. Additionally, verification documents proving citizenship and state residency are necessary. AR driver’s license and ID numbers, Social Security Numbers (SSN) and birth certificates are examples of documents that may be needed.
To submit or change voter registration by mail, an application can be sent to the AR SOS or local County Clerk office. Valid license numbers or the last four SSN digits of applicants are required for the mail-in option. Any relevant documents should be attached to the form.
Arkansas residents can also visit a local County Clerk or DMV office to turn in an application. To successfully submit a request, verification documents should be also provided for review.
For both methods, an AR voter registration card is issued upon approval from state officials.
Early Voting in Arkansas
Early voting, or casting a ballot in advance of a regular election date, is only available in certain U.S. states. Arkansas allows registered voters to utilize this method when necessary.
Depending on the type of election, an early vote can be cast anywhere from 7 to 15 days before an election day. AR county clerk offices are the usual locations for this type of voting.
Arkansas Voter Registration for Active Duty Military and Out-of-State Residents
For military service members and out-of-state residents, voter registration can be completed using absentee ballots. There are various federal options that provide absentee forms to eligible groups. The Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) serves the following voters in Arkansas:
- Overseas residents
- Members of the U.S. military or merchant marines and family
- Members of Public Health Service commissioned corps and family
- Members of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and family
Active military members and merchant marines should use the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) to cast votes. Additionally, the Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot (FWAB) can be submitted if a regular absentee form does not arrive within the deadline.
Arkansas Voter Registration for Absentee Voting
Absentee voting is granted to Arkansas residents who cannot visit their local voting precinct during a regular election day. Acceptable reasons for casting an absentee ballot in the state include:
- Being out-of-state or overseas
- Being stationed out-of-state as a military member
- Being unable to go to a voting precinct because of an illness or disability
An absentee voter registration request can be submitted in person, by mail or electronically. Voters should send ballots early to ensure state deadlines are met.
Voter Registration Cards in Arkansas
While residents wait for voter applications to be evaluated, they may wonder, “am I registered to vote in Arkansas yet?” Approved requests will be mailed a registration certificate that verifies voting ability in the state. The card also states important voter information, including full names, addresses and assigned voting locations.
How to Change Your Voter Registration in Arkansas
A voter registration change of address, name or party affiliation can be accomplished using a normal voter application. In Arkansas, a specific section is contained on the form for updating or changing personal information. Resubmit the document by mail or in person to receive a new voter card.
Address and name changes should be reported to the state as early as possible. In most cases, your AR vehicle registration address and license will also need to be updated. Voters may wonder, “Where do I vote?” if they do not update their address in time for an upcoming election. Avoid these complications by being proactive and keeping your information on file up to date.
How to Replace a Lost Arkansas Voter Registration Card
A replacement voter card can be acquired by resubmitting a registration application. The form can be sent by mail or provided in person at a County Clerk office. Residents can change voter registration address, name or party affiliation during this process, if needed.