FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — With Election Day on November 8 drawing closer, you may be wondering if it is possible to vote by mail in the state of Arkansas.

Eight states conduct elections entirely by mail, while 27 more and Washington D.C. offer “no-excuse” absentee voting for anyone that requests it. The process is different in Arkansas, as an absentee voter must qualify for one of the qualifying reasons:

  • You will be unavoidably absent from your polling site on election day, OR
  • You will be unable to attend your polling site on election day due to illness or physical disability, OR
  • You are a member of the Uniformed Services, merchant marines or the spouse or a dependant family member and are away from your polling location due to the member’s active duty status, OR
  • A U.S. citizen whose residence is in Arkansas but is temporarily living outside the territorial limits of the United States.

If you qualify through one of the above criteria, you can apply for an absentee ballot here. Once completed, you may submit the application in person with your county clerk, or by selected other means.

Here are the deadlines for submitting your application and ballot and the acceptable methods of doing that.

Deadline for Absentee Ballot Application:

  • In Person: by close of business the Friday BEFORE the election.
  • By Designated Bearer or Administrator: by close of business the Friday BEFORE the election (a Designated Bearer is anyone you choose to pick up and/or deliver your application or ballot)
  • By Mail or by Electronic Means: by seven days before the election.
  • By Authorized Agent: by 1:30 p.m. ON election day. The authorized agent must file with the County Clerk an affidavit from the administrative head of a hospital or nursing home located in this state verifying that the applicant is a patient of the hospital or long-term care or residential care facility licensed by the state and is thereby unable to vote on the election day at his or her regular polling site.

Deadline for Ballot Pickup:

  • By Designated Bearers: no earlier than 15 days before a preferential primary election, general election, school election or special election and no earlier than 7 days before a runoff election.
  • By Anyone Else: no deadline specified in Arkansas law. You should base your ballot pick-up on the ability to return it to the County Clerk on time.

Deadline for Delivery of Voted Ballot to County Clerk:

  • In Person: by close of business the Friday BEFORE the election.
  • By Designated Bearer: by close of business the Friday BEFORE the election.
  • By Mail: received at clerks office by 7:30 p.m. ON election day
  • By Authorized Agent: by 7:30 p.m. ON election day

You may not fax or email your ballot. You may contact the Arkansas Secretary of State’s office with any questions or concerns at voterservices@sos.arkansas.gov.

And you can contact your county clerk with any questions about voting absentee in your county. Detailed instructions on completing an absentee ballot are available here.