Monday marked Pulaski County’s final day of early voting before Super Tuesday. According to the Pulaski County Election Commission’s website, over 23,800 people cast their ballots early. Terri Hollingsworth, the Circuit and County Clerk of Pulaski County, says the numbers are a little lower than in previous primary years.
“It’s just slightly lower than the last few…in 2016 and 2018, but we still want people to urge their family and friends to get out and vote. It’s just such an important part of being a citizen in this state, the city and in this country,” Hollingsworth said.
One possible factor that may have impacted early voting numbers is the weather. In the past two weeks, at least three days of early voting were plagued by rain or colder temperatures. Hollingsworth says weather can impact turnout.
According to the numbers from the election commission, more people voted the second week of early voting than the first, with just over three thousand voting this past Saturday alone. Almost 1,800 voters cast their ballot on Monday, the last day to early vote.
Though the numbers are lower, Hollingsworth hopes this won’t be a reflection of turnout on Super Tuesday.
“Lately I’ve heard a lot of people say ‘I like the ritual of going to my polling site.’ And I’m glad that they like that ritual. I want them to take their mothers, I want them to take their sons, their daughters, take their dogs. Well, maybe not their dogs, I don’t think you can take the dogs inside. But make it a fun thing and get out and vote,” Hollingsworth said.
According to the election commission for the county, a total of over 18,300 Democratic ballots, over 5,300 Republican ballots and just over 290 non-partisan ballots were cast. In addition to presidential candidates, early voters chose judgeship positions, including one Arkansas Supreme Court seat. Hollingsworth says those races don’t bring out as many people to vote as they should.
“Usually judicial races don’t put people there, but judicial races are very important and we want people to think about that. Think about and do the research on those candidates. Who’s going to be the best in those spots and we need to have great folks, who are going to be our judicial nominees,” Hollingsworth said.
Hollingsworth advices would-be voters to check their voter registration and polling precinct at the Pulaski Circuit and County Clerk’s website. She also suggests studying the ballot ahead of time to better know the candidates and to make more informed decisions.
Polls are open Tuesday from 7:30 a.m. until 7:30 p.m.