Tuesday is National Voter Registration Day. The holiday, which occurs the fourth Tuesday of every September, is designed to encourage an increase in voter participation, but efforts to get people registered have been happening for weeks in Arkansas. Pulaski County Circuit and County Clerk Terri Hollingsworth says there are already 12,000 more registered voters than at this time four years ago. She credits new collaborations for the increase.
"Recently we've partnered with the Black Partner Network of Starbucks and with the Central Arkansas Library [System] to register people to vote. So, you can go to eight Starbuck locations and definitely 14 libraries in central Arkansas. They have voter registration toolkits where you can register to vote and get your coffee, or you can register to vote and get your books," Hollingsworth said.
According to Hollingsworth, more than 253,000 residents of Pulaski County are registered to vote. The county clerk’s office, which is also processing a record number of absentee ballot requests, says it takes around a week to get a voter ID card in the mail after the registration form is submitted. The deadline to register is Oct. 5.
Voter registration forms can be downloaded, but a signed paper form must be submitted to the county clerk’s office. Arkansas is one of 10 states that doesn't allow online voter registration according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
The University of Arkansas at Little Rock will be hosting an event on campus in the Ottenheimer Library Courtyard from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday to register students to vote. This is part of a larger event which will allow UA Little Rock to compete with other Sun Belt Conference Institutions to see who can register the most students.