ARKANSAS, (KNWA/KFTA) – September 28, 2021 marks, National Voter Registration Day, a reminder of the importance of exercising your right and civic duty to vote.
If you want to make your voice count at the local, state and national level then you’re going to want to be registered to vote.
Director of Elections for Washington County, Jennifer Price breaks down what you need to know.
Price says first, when you register to vote you want to fill out the registration form completely and get it to your local county clerk’s office or the secretary of state office. You must be registered to vote at least 30 days before the election you’re planning to vote in.
You can get the registration form from your post office, library, country clerk’s office or online. Now in Arkansas you cannot submit your form online so it is important that you write clearly. Your application will get flagged if it is missing information.
“It’s really important when you fill out that form that it is legible. A lot of times when a form get into suspense or we don’t get them into the system is because we can’t read the last name or the maybe the apartment building,” said Price.
Your job isn’t quite done after you send your application off. Don’t forget to follow up with your local county clerk’s office if you don’t receive your voter’s registration card within a few weeks.
You can visit the Arkansas voter view website to verify your voter information and make sure it is all correct. There you’ll also be able to look at sample ballots, find your poll locations and other important voter information.
There are some news laws that will impact voters at the polls going forward. One of them is the voter identification requirement.
In the past, voters who were not able to show ID had the option to sign a sworn statement to confirm their identity and eligibility to vote in the designated county. Price says that is no longer the case.
Under ACT 249, you will need to show ID to make your vote count. Price says you will be able to vote using a provisional ballot at the time, but you will have to take another trip to the county clerks office
“Any voter that is unable to show ID, on election day or voting by absentee they have the option to come back to the county clerks office by the Monday following the election at noon to show ID,” said Price.
Again, if you don’t return and show your ID, then your vote will not count.
Another big change impacts absentee voters and falls under ACT 973. Price says before voters were able to turn in their absentee ballots in person the latest, on Monday before the election. Those voters now have an earlier deadline, Friday, before the election day.
Price says that poll workers will be trained to make sure they provide voters with all of the information they need at the polls.