Election 2020: Key dates, deadlines, what’s on the ballot for Arkansas voters


(KTAL/KMSS) – The November 3 general election is now less than two months away and key dates and deadlines in Arkansas for making sure your vote counts are fast approaching.

The deadline to register to vote in Arkansas is 30 days before the election. This year, that date falls on October 5.

See key dates, deadlines, absentee info, and what’s on the ballot for Louisiana.

You can register by mail to vote in Arkansas by printing or requesting a voter registration form by mail, filling it out, and mailing it to your local election office. If mailing in an application, the application or envelope must be postmarked 30 days prior to the first election in which you seek to vote.

You can also register to vote in person if you prefer. Contact your local election office for information on when and where to register to vote in person. Learn more by visiting the Secretary of State for Arkansas or contacting your local election official.

Arkansas voters can click here to confirm address, party association, ballot statuses, and polling place locations.

Early voting in Arkansas is from October 19 to November 2. The deadline to request an absentee ballot by “by mail or electronic means” is October 27. Voters will be able to return completed ballots in person up until the close of business the day before the election.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson signed an executive order in August that will allow anyone with concerns about voting in person due to COVID-19 to cite those concerns as a valid excuse vote absentee in the November 3 general election.

The polls in Arkansas are open from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Election Day.

Get more information about voting in Arkansas here.

What’s on the ballot

In addition to the presidential election, there will be a number of statewide and local items and races on the ballot, including races for U.S. House and Senate seats.

Republican Senator Tom Cotton is seeking re-election to the U.S. Senate. Marshall, Texas native and Libertarian Ricky Dale Harrington, Jr. is also running for the seat. No Democrats are on the ballot to oppose Cotton in the race.

Republican Congressman Bruce Westerman is seeking re-election to represent Arkansas’ 4th Congressional District, which covers the southwest region of the state. Democrat William Hanson, an Army veteran and attorney from Camden, is also running for the seat.

In the State Legislature, Republican Charles Beckham is seeking to unseat incumbent Dist. 12 Senator Bruce Maloch (D). Republican Chase McDowell is challenging Democrat incumbent David Fielding for the State House District 5 seat.

Three positions on the Texarkana, Arkansas Board of Directors have drawn opponents in the upcoming November election. Ward 1 incumbent Linda Teeters is being challenged by Terry Roberts, school board member Vickie Lacy is challenging incumbent Laney Harris for the Ward 2 seat, and Ward 6 incumbent Terri Peavy is being challenged by Jeff Hart.

Among the statewide ballot items are three constitutional amendments and a veto referendum:

  • Issue 1 (constitutional amendment): Taxes – Continues a 0.5 percent sales tax for transportation
  • Issue 2 (constitutional amendment): Term limits – Changes term limits to twelve consecutive years for state legislators with the opportunity to return after a four-year break
  • Issue 3 (constitutional amendment): Direct democracy and State legislatures – Changes initiative process and legislative referral requirements
  • Issue 6 (veto referendum): Healthcare – Maintains Act 579 (House Bill 1251) to amend the definition of practice of optometry to allow optometrists to perform surgical procedures

Two other proposed amendment issues on creating a citizen’s redistricting commission and establishing a ranked-choice voting system in Arkansas did not make the ballot.

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