Fewer Voters Mailing it in for Primary Election

BENTON COUNTY, AR -- Benton County officials are seeing fewer people mailing in their votes for this year's primary election.

According to the Benton County Clerk's Office, in the 2010 primary election they had nearly 400 absentee ballot requests. So far for this year's primary election, just 154 requests and only 82 absentee ballots received. That number is not expected to get much higher, since that last day to request an absentee ballot is May 13.

"The numbers are down considerably from 2010 which is a comparable election... We have 18,000 more registered voters in Benton County than we did in 2010, but we're having less voter turnout... I don't know if folks are not aware that we have an election going on. I hope it's not because that they're not interested because the governor's race is a very important race for the State of Arkansas," said Benton County Clerk Tena O'Brien.

O'Brien believes voting for local elected officials serves as a key to our state government and the federal level.

"We're hoping that with it being the second week of early voting, more people will realize that the Election Day is on May the 20th."

She is also hoping possible confusion over the need to present a photo ID to vote is not keeping people away from the polls.

"You've always had to provide some type of identification... I would think that most people wouldn't mind proving that that is who actually voted a ballot."

But if the numbers do not keep increasing during early voting, O'Brien expects to see voters exercising their right on May 20.

"Maybe they're waiting until election day to go to their polls and that we'll have a good turnout at the polls."

Washington County is also seeing fewer absentee requests. Click here for those numbers.

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