The 2024 election season is here, and Arkansas residents who want to cast a ballot in the primary must first register to vote.
What is the deadline to register to vote?
Voters can register any time of year, but to be eligible to vote in a given election, an individual must be registered 30 days before election day.
For the March 5 preferential primary in Arkansas, the deadline to register was Monday, Feb. 5.
Here are the basics on getting registered:
Who is eligible to register to vote?
A person must meet three basic criteria to be eligible to vote in Arkansas:
— Be a U.S. citizen
— Be an Arkansas resident
— Be 18 or turn 18 on or before the next election
There are two criteria that can disqualify residents, according the the Arkansas Secretary of State’s office. People who are presently judged by a court as mentally incompetent are ineligible to register to vote. Convicted felons are also not eligible to register to vote unless their sentence has been pardoned or completed.
What documents are needed to register to vote?
Prospective voters need to fill out an application. The form to print an application can be downloaded from the Secretary of State's office at https://www.sos.arkansas.gov/uploads/elections/ArkansasVoterRegistrationApplication.pdf.
Applications are also available at county clerk’s offices, as well as most public libraries and revenue offices, among other places.
No matter how a voter gets their application, it must be mailed or hand-delivered to their county clerk’s office or mailed to the secretary of state's office to complete their registration.
No other documents are needed at the time of registration, although applicants will have to provide either a social security number, driver’s license number, state ID number or swear they do not have any of those numbers.
Applications sent via mail that are postmarked by Feb. 6 will be considered on-time and the resident will be eligible to vote in the primary.
How can someone check their registration status?
New applicants will receive notice from their local county clerk that they have successfully registered, but this could take several weeks.
If someone is concerned about their application or registration status, they can contact their county clerk.
The state also has a website, https://www.voterview.ar-nova.org/VoterView, which will show whether an individual is registered.