Early voting begins today for the May 22nd primaries and nonpartisan judicial election. Early voting runs Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Saturdays.
Voters can choose either a Republican or Democratic ballot but not both, regardless of political party affiliation. Voters also can get a nonpartisan judicial ballot, independent of or in addition to a party primary ballot.
The nonpartisan judicial races include the contest for Arkansas Supreme Court Associate Justice between David Sterling, Courtney Goodson, and Kenneth Hixson.
The Democratic primary has several contests races for Pulaski County-based legislative seats. It also features the four-person race to run against Republican French Hill for the U.S. House. That’s between Jonathan Dunkley, Gwen Combs, Paul Spencer, and Clarke Tucker.
A challenge for the governorship tops the Republican ballot with Jan Morgan seeking to upset Governor Asa Hutchinson.
Chris Powell, a spokesman for the Arkansas Secretary of State’s office, says various types of identification will be accepted in order to comply with Arkansas’s recently-upheld voter ID law.
“It can be a federal ID or a state ID which includes a driver’s license, or a military ID, or a passport, public assistance ID also, if you have a college ID you can use that,” said Powell. “There are multiple forms you can use.”
Powell says voters without ID can have a free voter ID card made at their local county clerk’s office. Voters who show up to the polling place without state or federal identification can still cast a provisional ballot, which is only counted once the voter’s identification is verified.
Another change for some voters may be the emergence of voting centers, which allow voters to cast their ballot in designated polling places that may or may not be outside of their voting precinct.
“A number of counties do have vote centers this election. Saline and Faulkner are both counties in central Arkansas that will have those. It means that you can vote in any polling location and it doesn’t have to be the one right in your precinct,” said Powell.
A complete list of early voting sites and candidates is available on the Arkansas Secretary of State’s website.