How to Vote in Arkansas’ 2024 Elections

Posted on 12/06/23 by Natalie Missakian

En español

Important dates and election information

Key dates

  • Primary: Tuesday, March 5
  • General election: Tuesday, Nov. 5

    Voting at a glance

    • Absentee voting: Absentee ballots are available only to voters who can’t get to a polling site on Election Day because of illness, disability, religious observance or another acceptable reason.
    • Early in-person voting: Available to all registered voters during the early voting period.
    • Voting at the polls: Polls are open from 7:30 a.m. through 7:30 p.m. Bring a photo ID, such as your driver’s license or U.S. passport.

    Voting in Arkansas

    What to know about recent changes

    Laws passed in 2023 changed voting procedures and may affect how you cast your ballot in 2024:

    • There will no longer be drop boxes for returning absentee ballots; you can only mail or hand-deliver them to your county clerk’s office.
    • Write-in voting is no longer allowed in state elections.
    • Registered voters may now vote absentee for religious reasons.

    Laws passed in 2021 introduced rules for submitting signatures with absentee ballots, an earlier deadline to return those ballots and different photo ID requirements.

    Redistricting in 2021 changed the boundaries of congressional and state legislative districts and may affect which candidates appear on your ballot. Litigation is ongoing. Check back for updates.

    Voter registration

    The deadline to register to vote in the primary is Monday, Feb. 5.

    • By mail: Download a copy of the application, which is available in English or in Spanish. You can also fill out and submit a request for a voter registration application on the secretary of state’s website, and an application will be mailed to you. Another option is to call your county clerk’s office to request an application. Or call the secretary of state’s Elections Division at 800-482-1127, and you’ll be referred to the right county clerk’s office to make your request. Mail in the preaddressed form once you have completed it.
    • 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. Mail or hand-deliver the completed form to your county clerk’s office. 

    Visit the secretary of state’s VoterView page or call your county clerk’s office to check your registration status.

    Registering to vote on Election Day

    Arkansas does not offer same-day voter registration, so you cannot register to vote on Election Day.

    Primary voting and party affiliation

    Arkansas does not ask voters to affiliate with a party when they register to vote. Voters can choose to vote in any party’s primary, but they can only vote in one. 

    Voters In Super Tuesday States Cast Their Ballots
    Getty Images

    Ways to vote

    Requesting an absentee ballot

    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, if you have a religious reason, 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 apply for an absentee ballot:

    Your county clerk’s office must receive your mailed or emailed application by Tuesday, Feb. 27 for the primary. Applications postmarked but not received by that date will not be accepted.

    If you visit your county clerk’s office in person, you can fill out an application through the close of business on Friday, March 1. Those are also the deadlines for returning a ballot, but you can pick up and complete your ballot during the same visit.

    Returning your absentee ballot

    Return your absentee ballot by mail or in person.

    Deadlines may be different for military members living overseas. Visit the secretary of state’s website for more information about absentee voting, including guidelines for authorized agents acting on behalf of hospital patients or long-term care residents. 

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

    Voting in person before Election Day

    Early voting runs from 8 a.m. Monday, Feb. 19, through 5 p.m. Monday, March 4. Hours may vary in counties with more than one early voting site. In most cases, early voting takes place at your county clerk’s office, but contact the office to see if other locations are available. For more information about early voting, visit the secretary of state’s website.

    Voting at the polls on Election Day

    Find your polling location on the VoterView page. Polls are open from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. If you are in line before the polls close, you’ll be allowed to vote.

    Voter ID requirements

    You’ll need to show an acceptable photo ID such as an Arkansas driver’s license, a concealed carry license or a U.S. passport, when casting your ballot in person. You can use an expired ID as long as the expiration date is no more than four years before the date of the election.

    If you don’t have a driver’s license or other acceptable ID, you can obtain a free voter verification card from your county clerk’s office.

    Residents of licensed long-term care facilities can provide documentation from their facility’s administrator proving their residency in place of a photo ID.

    If you don’t have an acceptable form of ID when you go to vote, you may only use a provisional ballot. You’ll need to bring a proper ID to your county clerk’s office by noon the Monday after the election for your vote to count.

    Voting with a disability

    If you have a disability and need assistance casting your vote at the polls, you may request the help of two poll workers (one to assist and one to observe) or a person of your choice. During early voting, your county clerk or deputy clerk may help you. You may also vote by absentee ballot.

    More information about candidates and races

    Key races:

    • U.S. President
    • U.S. House: all four seats
    • State Senate: 18 seats
    • State House: all 100 seats
    • State Supreme Court: three seats

    View sample ballots on the secretary of state’s VoterView page.

    Editor’s note: This guide was updated on Dec. 6, 2023, with new information about voting in the 2024 elections. The guide was first published on Aug. 7, 2020.

    Natalie Missakian covers federal and state policy and writes AARP’s Fighting for You Every Day blog. She previously worked as a reporter for the New Haven Register and daily newspapers in Ohio. Her work has also appeared in the AARP Bulletin, the Hartford Business Journal and other publications.

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    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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