How to Vote in Arkansas’ 2022 Elections

Posted on 05/06/22 by Jessica Ravitz

En español | Arkansas’ May 24 primaries will determine which candidates appear on November’s general election ballot for seats in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, state Senate and House, governor, secretary of state and other state executive offices, as well as several state high courts.

What's new this year:

The legislature enacted a number of new election and voting laws in 2021. And more changes could be coming, as a new absentee-ballot-deadline law faces legal challenges. A redistricting plan may also affect which candidates run in your district.

Essential info:

  • Absentee voting: Absentee ballots are available only to voters who can’t get to a polling site on Election Day. This includes people with an illness or physical disability, military members and others who are temporarily living outside the country, and those who will be “unavoidably absent” from the polls on Election Day.
  • Early in-person voting: This option is available to all registered voters in the 15 days before Election Day.
  • In-person voting on Election Day: The state’s primary election is Tuesday, May 24, and the general election is Tuesday, Nov. 8. Poll hours are 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
US-VOTE-SUPER TUESDAY


How do I register to vote?

You must complete a registration form and submit it by mail or in person. You can request a registration form in several ways.

  • By mail: Send your completed voter registration application to your county clerk’s office for the quickest processing. Or mail the completed application to the secretary of state’s office, which will forward it to the appropriate county clerk’s office:

    Arkansas Secretary of State
    ATTN: Voter Registration
    P.O. Box 8111
    Little Rock, Arkansas 72203-8111
  • By phone: Call your county clerk’s office to request an application. Or call the secretary of state’s Election Division at 800-482-1127 and you’ll be referred to the right office.
  • In person: Pick up and fill out a registration application at your county clerk’s office. You can also pick up an application at your local DMV office, public library, disability agency or military recruitment office, then mail or drop the completed form off at your county clerk’s office.

Registration applications must be received by your local county clerk’s office by Monday, April 25, to be processed in time for the primaries and by Tuesday, Oct. 11, to be processed in time for the general election.

Check your registration status by visiting the secretary of state’s VoterView page or by calling your county clerk’s office.

Does my party affiliation matter when I vote in the primaries?

No. Arkansas does not require residents to declare a political affiliation when they register to vote. In a primary election you can choose one party’s ballot even if you’re unaffiliated or affiliated with another party. If you don’t want to participate in a party’s primary election, you can vote in nonpartisan races only, which may include judicial races and local issues.

How can I get a mail-in or absentee ballot? Are there important deadlines?

Absentee ballots are available only to Arkansas voters who meet certain criteria. You may qualify if you will be “unavoidably absent” from your polling site on Election Day, can’t get to a polling site due to an illness or physical disability, are a military member (or a spouse of one) temporarily living elsewhere or are living outside the United States.

You can request an absentee-ballot application through your county clerk’s office.

  • By phone or email: Request a mailed copy of the application from your county clerk’s office or call the secretary of state’s Election Division at 800-482-1127. Your completed application can be mailed, emailed or dropped off at your county clerk’s office. Though the application form says you can also fax it to the county clerk’s office, the secretary of state’s office cautions that this method is not as reliable.

If you mail, email or fax an application for an absentee ballot, it must be received by your county clerk’s office by Tuesday, May 17, for the primaries and Tuesday, Nov. 1, for the general election. If you visit your county clerk’s office in person, you can fill out an application — and complete your ballot — up until close of business the Friday before the election (Friday, May 20, for the primaries and Friday, Nov. 4, for the general election).

Completed absentee ballots, if hand-delivered, must be dropped off at your county clerk’s office by close of business on the Friday before the election (Friday, May 20, for the primaries and Friday, Nov. 4, for the general election). This deadline, however, is being challenged in the courts and may change.

Mailed ballots must be received by your county clerk’s office by 7:30 p.m. on Election Day.

For more information about absentee-voting procedures, including guidelines for authorized agents who can act on behalf of hospital patients or long-term care residents, visit the secretary of state’s website page dedicated to absentee voting.

Can I track my absentee ballot?

Yes. Visit the VoterView page to track the status of your ballot.

Can I vote in person before Election Day?

Yes. Early voting begins 15 days before an election, or Monday, May 9, for the primaries and Monday, Oct. 24, for the general election. Hours are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday. Early voting ends at 5 p.m. the Monday before the election, or May 23 for the primaries and Nov. 7 for the general election.

In most cases you can vote early at your county clerk’s office. If other off-site locations are available, your local newspaper will publish them. Contact your county clerk’s office for details on off-site locations.

When is Election Day? When are polls open?

The primary election is Tuesday, May 24, and the general election is Tuesday, Nov. 8. Polls are open from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Find your polling location on the VoterView page.

Do I need identification to vote?

Yes, in-person voters need to present a photo ID issued by the state or federal government.

Acceptable forms of identification include:

  • A driver’s license
  • U.S. passport
  • A photo ID card
  • A concealed-handgun-carry license
  • An employee badge or ID document issued by an accredited postsecondary education institution in Arkansas
  • A U.S. military ID document
  • A public assistance ID card with a photo
  • A free voter verification card, available from the secretary of state’s office or your county clerk’s office

Residents of licensed long-term care facilities are not required to show ID when voting in person; rather, they can provide documentation from their facility’s administrator proving that they live in the facility.  

If you don’t have an acceptable form of ID when you go to vote, you may only use a provisional ballot, which will not count unless you bring a proper ID to your county clerk’s office by noon the Monday following the election.

What races are on the ballot in 2022?

  • U.S. Senate: 1 seat
  • U.S. House: 4 seats
  • Governor
  • Other state executive offices: lieutenant governor, attorney general, secretary of state, treasurer, auditor and commissioner of state lands
  • State Senate: all 35 seats, due to redistricting
  • State House: all 100 seats
  • State Supreme Court: 3 seats
  • State Court of Appeals: 4 seats
  • Municipal governments: across the state

Editor’s note: This guide was updated on May 6, 2022, with new links for the county clerk office list. The guide was first published on Aug. 7, 2020.

Also of Interest: 

This story is provided by AARP Arkansas. Visit the AARP Arkansas page for more news, events, and programs affecting retirement, health care, and more.

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