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More Votes Cast During Early Voting Compared To Previous Runoffs

Sarah Kellogg

Voting is underway in Pulaski County for the runoff election on December 4, and thousands have already cast their ballots.

The Pulaski County Election Commission currently has six voting locations open to the public for early voting. They are: The Sue Cowen Library, the Dee Brown Library, the Roosevelt Thompson Library, the McMath Branch Library, the Jacksonville Community Center and the Pulaski County Regional Building. On Monday, only the Pulaski County Regional Building will be open for early voting.

According to the Pulaski County Election Commission, as of this past Tuesday, 7,000 residents have voted in the runoff. Pulaski County Director of Elections Bryan Poe says this is a larger number than previous runoffs and what is on the ballot is a reason why.

“It’s definitely bigger than the runoffs we’ve had in the past because typically we don’t have our larger municipalities go to a runoff,” Poe said. “Generally if we have a runoff, it’ll be something smaller like Alexander, which only has a few thousand people, as opposed to Little Rock, which has well over a few thousand people.”

Little Rock residents are choosing a new mayor, while people in Jacksonville are picking two council members and a mayor. While the races may be larger in profile than a normal runoff, Poe says the lines and wait time for early voting will still be shorter.

“One of the major things that slowed down voting in the general election is you had the full ballot and all of those ballot issues that people had to read through,” Poe said. “Whereas this time if you’re in Little Rock, you have one thing on the ballot, if you’re in Jacksonville, you have three things on the ballot and they’re all fairly straightforward.”

At the Dee Brown Library, a small line formed outside before the building opened at 10a.m. One resident walked in and then walked right out, saying it was too busy before heading to the Pulaski County Regional Building to vote instead.

Doris Bonner voted Wednesday morning. She prefers voting earlier because of the smaller crowd.  Bonner also talked about the importance of voting.

“We all should do that. It’s been a long time. Some people really don’t think their vote counts but it really does,” Bonner said.

All four libraries had voters filing in and out, though none of them were incredibly busy. Canvassers for Frank Scott Jr. were at each location, with one Baker Kurrus supporter holding a sign at the Roosevelt Thompson Library.

Early voting ends at the end of the day on Monday, December 3, the day before the election. Those registered to vote must present their photo ID at the polling place.

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