During the 2019 Regular Session, the General Assembly passed several pieces of legislation concerning our elections.
One of those pieces of legislation will change the date of our primaries.
Arkansas will join 13 other states holding a March 3, 2020 primary. Only 4 other states will hold their caucus or primary before March 3.
Act 545 provides for a March preferential primary election in the years in which the office of President of the United States is voted on and a May preferential primary election in the years in which the office of Governor is voted on.
The general election for non-partisan races, which includes judges and prosecutors, will also be held on March 3 of next year.
Early voting will begin on February 17, 2020. The deadline to register for the primary is February 3.
Act 545 also makes changes to the timing of fiscal sessions. Fiscal sessions have been held on the second Monday in February on even-numbered years. Act 545 states that on years in which the preferential primary is held in March, the General Assembly will instead meet for a fiscal session on the second Wednesday of April.
Other legislation passed this year concerning elections include:
· ACT 199 which allows the election officials at a polling site with fifteen (15) or more ballot styles to post the sample ballots on a public website and in bound volumes.
· ACT 664 which provides ten (10) minutes for a voter to mark his or her ballot.
· ACT 684 which allows digital photographic identification cards to be used as the voter identification required to vote.
· ACT 949 which provides for a modification in the law concerning the number of voting sites in a city of the first class.
· ACT 328 which allows high school students to volunteer as election officials.
For more information about voting dates and deadlines visit www.sos.arkansas.gov.