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Early voting underway in Arkansas for November election

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Josie Lenora
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KUAR News
County Clerk Terri Hollingsworth discusses early voting on Monday in an interview at KUAR.

Early voting got underway in Arkansas on Monday and runs through Monday, Nov. 7, the day before the Nov. 8 general election. In Pulaski County, 13 locations are available for people to cast ballots early.

Pulaski County Clerk Terri Hollingsworth says voters can find out their polling location at the Arkansas Secretary of State’s website or the Pulaski County Clerk’s Website.

“I want them to have a voter plan,” Hollingsworth said of those interested in voting. “I want them to have their driver’s license.”

Voters are allowed to bring someone with them to help them vote. They may also print out a sample ballot and bring it into the voting booth.

In an interview with KUAR News, Hollingsworth said there are several laws which give her “angst” regarding voting.

Arkansas law mandates the clerk’s office match signatures on absentee ballots to signatures on the voter’s registration form. People’s signatures may change over time causing a legitimate ballot to be discarded, she said. Citizens are still able to apply for absentee ballots until Nov. 1 to have one by Nov. 4.

“If you have not updated your signature since you were 18 and let’s say you might be my age or older. That could be a problem because your signatures don’t match,” she said.

Hollingsworth recommends people voting absentee re-register to vote.

Additionally, people who are not voting should avoid standing within 100 feet of polling places to in line with Arkansas election laws. Usually, polling places have these areas marked off. Non-voters are not allowed to give out water or anything else to those standing in line to vote.

“Since we have always had voting, there have always been hurdles,” Hollingsworth said, “especially from those of us who have been disenfranchised throughout America’s lifetime.”

The deadline has already passed for citizens who are not registered to vote to submit the form to participate in the current election. But they can register for subsequent elections. Forms are available at places such as the Secretary of State’s office, county courthouse, libraries and the state Department of Motor Vehicle.

Hollingsworth said in 2018, about 69,000 people voted early in Pulaski County.

Josie Lenora is the Politics/Government Reporter for UA Little Rock Public Radio.