Starting Monday, early voting begins, and the buzz around the Jefferson County Courthouse on Friday was the expected onslaught of voters who will be making their way that day to cast their ballots at the Courthouse.
That is based in part on what people are talking about, according to officials, but also based on the early-voting turnout around the country.
At the courthouse, voting machines were at the ready in both the Quorum Court chambers as well as the voting area across the hall.
Specific days and times for early voting are as follows:
• Early voting at the courthouse begins Monday.
• Hours are Monday through Friday next week, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Oct. 24, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Oct. 26-30, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Oct. 31, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and Nov. 2, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., according to the county clerk's office.
The clerk's office also reminds voters of other election-related dates:
• Oct. 27 -- Last day to request an absentee ballot.
• Oct. 30 -- Last day for a voter to transfer into Jefferson County.
• Nov. 3 -- Election Day, polling sites will be open 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Voters will cast ballots for president as well as state and local races and three ballot issues: Issue 1 – Making permanent a 0.5% state sales tax that currently funds state, county and city road work; Issue 2 – the Arkansas Term Limits Amendment; and Issue 3 – Changing Arkansas' Citizen Initiative Process, Votes Required for Legislative Ballot Issue Proposals and Publication Requirements.
According to the public notice of elections printed in the Commercial on Oct. 11, candidates in contested races include:
• President -- Donald Trump (R) and Joe Biden (D) and 11 other candidates.
• Vice President -- Mike Pence (R) and Kamala Harris (D) and 11 other candidates.
• Circuit judge District 11-West Division 3, Subdistrict 11.2, the nonpartisan judicial runoff race -- Mac Norton and Therese Free.
• Jefferson County Justice of the Peace District 8 -- Incumbent Roy Agee, R, and David Dinwiddie, L.
• Pine Bluff Ward 2 Position 1 City Council -- Steven Shaner (D) and Yvonne Denton (I).
• Pine Bluff Ward 3 Position 1 City Council -- Glen Brown Sr. (D) and Bill Brumett(I).
• Altheimer City Council District 1 Position 2 -- Joycette Laws Strong, (I) and Jewel Vanderbilt (I)
• Altheimer City Council District 2 Position 2 -- Crystal Gridley (I) and Essie Robertson (I).
• Wabbaseka Ward 1 Position 1 City Council -- Melony J. Darrough (I) and Edward Spears Sr.(I).
• U.S. Senate -- Ricky Dale Harrington Jr. (L) and Sen. Tom Cotton (R)
• U.S. Congress District 4 -- Rep. Bruce Westerman (R) William H. Hanson, (D) and Frank Gilbert, (L)
• State Senate District 27 -- Sen. Trent Garner (R) and Keidra Burrell (D).
• State Representative District 14 -- Rep. Roger Dale Lynch (R) Rick Bransford (D) and Christia Jones (I).
• State Representative District 15 -- Rep. Ken Bragg, (R) Wayne Willems, (L).
Election information is available at the Jefferson County clerk's office, (870) 541-5322; University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture ballot guide, www.uaex.edu/ballot or the Secretary of State's office, www.sos.arkansas.gov/elections/voter-information/absentee-voting.