Voter Registration FAQs
Q. Am I registered to vote when I send in my voter registration form?
No, submitting your voter application at a state agency, in a voter registration drive or through the U.S. Postal Service does NOT guarantee your registration. You should follow up on the status of your registration just as you would on any other personal business matter. Before considering yourself a registered voter, you must receive an acknowledgment of your registration from the county clerk.
Unfortunately each Election Day, many would-be first-time voters in Arkansas do not have their votes counted because they are not actually registered to vote. Many believed they had registered months before, but failed to follow up when they did not receive a voter ID card from their county clerk. The process of voter registration is convenient, but it also places responsibility on the registrant to ensure the process is completed.
Follow up on your Voter Registration before election time!
Q. I live in one county but work in another. I would like to vote in the county where I work because I am more involved in that community. Can I change my registration to the county where I work?
No. Arkansas law requires you to register in the county where you reside. I have moved twice in the last few years to different counties in Arkansas, but never transferred my previous voter registrations. How can I transfer my name from the old voter rolls and move my registration to my new county of residence?
In Arkansas, moving across county lines requires transferring the registration to the new county. Be sure to submit your updated registration to the county clerk in your new county no later than four days before a scheduled election so you can vote there. If your application arrives less than four days before an election, you will not be eligible to vote in your new county for that election. (Act 556 of 2007)
Periodically, counties will mail notices to voters who have not voted in several elections in order to update voter rolls. If you receive such a notice, it is important that you mark your correct address and return the card to the county clerk so that your registration can be updated.
Q. My neighbors were born in South America but they vote in every election here. Is that legal?
If they are naturalized U.S. citizens, are at least 18 years old, are Arkansas residents, are not felons who have not discharged their sentences, and have not been determined to be mentally incompetent to register and vote, then they are eligible to register and vote. Anyone who is a naturalized citizen meeting these requirements may vote if they have registered at least 30 days prior to the election. (ACA 7-5-201)
Q.I got married last summer and changed my name. I recently re-registered in my married name. What should I do to be sure that my previous registration in my maiden name is canceled?
One of the most common causes of duplicate registrations is a name change after marriage. To inform your county clerk of the change, simply complete the name change portion of the voter registration application.
Q. Can anyone distribute Voter Registration Applications and Applications for Absentee Ballots?
Yes, ANYONE may distribute these applications. Voter Registration Applications are available from the Secretary of State; applications collected during a voter registration drive must be returned to the Secretary of State or the local county clerk within 21 days after the date on the application or no later than 30 days prior to the next election. Applications for Absentee Ballots are available from your local county clerk.
Q. My daughter wants to transfer her voter registration from our hometown to her new college campus. Can she do that?
Students may be considered to be residents of the place where they lived prior to becoming a student. However, a student may also have the intent to be a resident of the new place and be registered there. Of course, a student may not be registered and vote in more than one place. This also applies to people on temporary job assignments in other areas of the state.
Q. My husband and I are retired. We spend winters at home in south Arkansas and summers in the mountains in Colorado. What residence should we use to determine where we are entitled to register and vote?
This is a decision you will have to make, but you must choose only one voting location. In general, your residence is where your family lives, where you physically reside, the place you intend to return to live, where your driver’s license says you live, where you claim your homeowner’s property tax exemption, etc. Many factors affect residency.
Q. I recently decided to register to vote for the first time, so I filled out a voter registration application at a booth at the county fair. It was a little more than a month before the next election. When I went to the polls to vote, I was told that I was not registered. What should I do?
You are not legally registered until the county clerk records your registration. Arkansas law requires organizers of voter registration drives to submit those applications within 21 days of the drive or no later than 30 days prior to an election. If they did not do so, you would not be eligible to vote in that election. Check with your county clerk to see if your application has been received and is complete so that you can vote in the next election.