Arkansas League of Women Voters files lawsuit over absentee ballots

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A lawsuit filed against the Secretary of State and members of the Arkansas State Board of Election Commissioners aims to ensure your vote counts Nov. 3.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — If you make a mistake when filling out your absentee ballot in the upcoming election, your vote may not count.

A lawsuit filed against the Secretary of State and members of the Arkansas State Board of Election Commissioners aims to ensure you have time to make any needed corrections before Nov. 3.

The League of Women Voters of Arkansas said more needs to be done to protect your mail-in vote.

This includes adding protections if you fill out your ballot incorrectly.

Nell Matthews, the spokesperson for the group, said ballots can be rejected if there is an incorrect signature or if multiple signatures do not match.

As things stand now, election commissions are not required to immediately tell the voter there is a mistake in the ballot which leads them to not be notified of rejection until after the election in some cases.

Matthews is pushing for faster notification of a mistake, which would give a voter the opportunity to fix the issues before their ballot is thrown out.

Her group, along with two Arkansas residents, say protecting these votes is vital because a record amount of people are expected to vote using absentee ballots due to the pandemic.

“The right of people to vote is too important to allow it to be lost by some minor thing that could easily be changed,” Matthews said.

Secretary of State John Thurston’s office said, “Due to pending litigation, we would not have a comment at this time.”

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