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Northwest Arkansas absentee balloting process successful thus far, election coordinator says

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FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Ballots are going out to mailboxes, and election season’s now underway. Northwest Arkansas voting officials said the balloting process is going well thus far.

Connie Hoffman is with the Benton County chapter of the League of Women Voters, and like many Northwest Arkansans, she’s utilizing an absentee ballot this year.

“We wanted to receive it by mail, and we did,” Hoffman said. “I made that decision because of just the nature of coronavirus.”

This is a new process for her, and she had some questions a few months ago when she made the decision.

“It is a little tricky,” Hoffman said.

Jennifer Price is the executive director for the Washington County Election Commission, and she said this election cycle is unlike any other.

“Of course, it’s much busier than anything we’ve seen in previous elections,” Price said. “The clerk is processing absentee ballot requests, then we are continuing to mail absentee ballots.”

The county clerk’s office is receiving multiple inquiries, Price said, including what to do if a voter accidentally marks the ballot incorrectly.

“All they need to do on their ballot is clearly mark out what they originally put on there and then make their second selection,” Price said, adding that the polling machine will mark the ballot as incorrect, and commissioners will then correct the issue after reviewing it.

Others have asked how to know whether their ballot’s been submitted.

“Of course, they can always call the clerk’s office,” Price said. “On their own, they can go to a website called voterview.org.”

Finally, some wondered whether there’ll be drop-off opportunities that’ll eliminate the need to submit the ballot through the mail.

“We’re going to have curbside absentee ballot return here at the courthouse every Saturday in October from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.,” Price said.

Hoffman said she hopes Arkansas expands early voting next election, but she’s been pleased with the process for absentee ballots.

“It wasn’t painful at all to do this,” Hoffman said. “I would consider doing it again.”

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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