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Early voting begins for Arkansas primaries

David Monteith
Little Rock Public Radio

Early voting for Arkansas’ primary election begins Tuesday. The election will decide the Democratic and Republican presidential nominees, as well as the Arkansas Supreme Court Chief Justice and several positions on the Arkansas Court of Appeals.

Pulaski County Clerk Terri Hollingsworth says Arkansas has closed primary elections, which means voters must choose to cast a Republican, Democratic, or nonpartisan ballot.

“But I do want folks to understand that if they get the nonpartisan ballot, it only has the judge races on it,” Hollingsworth said. “Meaning those running for State Supreme Court Judge, those running for Court of Appeals, those running for Circuit Judge, those running for District Judge and any nonpartisan unopposed candidates.”

She says it’s important to know who is on the ballot before stepping into the voting booth. Hollingsworth recommends using the Secretary of State’s “VoterView” website to preview the ballot.

Hollingsworth says voters will be asked to give their first name, last name and date of birth to see a sample ballot. She says voters will be able to bring the sample ballot into the voting booth.

Voters can bring their ID’s to any of the 13 voting centers in Pulaski County to cast a ballot. Hollingsworth also wants voters to make sure their ballot will be counted if they plan to vote using an absentee ballot.

“When you bring an absentee ballot back it has to be back in the clerk’s office the Friday before election day,” Hollingsworth says. “So if you have an absentee ballot make sure you have it into the office by March 1.”

Hollingsworth says there are accommodations available for deaf and blind voters, such as assistance with marking up a ballot or having an elections official read a ballot out loud. People seeking accommodations should call (501) 340-8383.

Early voting runs through March 4. On March 4, only the Election Commission building in downtown Little Rock will be open for early voting. The full 13 voting centers will reopen their polls for election day on March 5. Nearby voting centers can be found on your voter registration card or online.

Josie Lenora is the Politics/Government Reporter for Little Rock Public Radio.
Maggie Ryan is a reporter and local host of All Things Considered for Little Rock Public Radio.