• Headlines

Absentee ballots a voting option during COVID-19 affected election year

DEWAYNE HOLLOWAY/dewayne&mcnews.online

Arkansas Secretary of State John Thurston appeared to clear up questions about the use of absentee ballots in November’s election with a statement released Thursday, June 25.
Secretary of State and Arkansas’ Chief Election Officer John Thurston issued a statement regarding the use of absentee ballots in Arkansas. He began by stating that he has received several questions regarding the subject and after listening to many concerns regarding November’s election in Arkansas wanted to clarify questions regarding absentee ballots.
Thurston stated, “We are fortunate in Arkansas that we have in place the means by which registered voters may request an absentee ballot.”
According to Ark. Code Ann. §§ 7-5-402 and 7-5-404, a voter may request an absentee ballot for one of four reasons. Reasons include:
A person being unavoidably absent from their polling site on election day.
A person being unable to attend their polling place on election day due to illness or physical disability.
A person is a member of the Uniformed Services, merchant marines, or the pouse or a dependent family member and are away from your polling location due to the member’s active duty status.
A person is a U.S. citizen with a residence in Arkansas, but is temporarily living outside the territorial limits of the United States.
Provisions of current state law allow voters of Arkansas to contact their local county clerk, and request an absentee ballot for one of the stated reasons.
The Secretary of State added that he understands that many Arkansas citizens may be assisting loved ones, or are fearful of exposing vulnerable family members to the virus. He shared that he is expecting an increase in absentee ballots as a result of fears regarding the spread of COVID-19.
Thurston stated, “It is my opinion and belief, that our current laws are sufficient to allow the registered voters of Arkansas the choice of going to their local polling location or requesting an absentee ballot from their local County Clerk. We are fortunate that our lawmakers had the foresight in crafting our election laws to allow for times of being unavoidably absent whether by natural disaster, war, or global pandemic.”
To request an absentee ballot in Montgomery County please contact the Montgomery County Clerk’s Office at (870) 867-3521.
Below is Thurston’s statement in full.
As Secretary of State and Chief Election Officer for the State of Arkansas, I have been receiving many questions and have listened to the many concerns of the citizens of Arkansas as to the upcoming November election. We are fortunate in Arkansas that we have in place the means by which registered voters may request an absentee ballot. According to Ark. Code Ann. §§ 7-5-402 and 7-5-404, a voter may request an absentee ballot due to one of the following reasons:
• You will be unavoidably absent from your polling site on Election Day, OR


• You will be unable to attend your polling site on election day due to illness or physical disability, OR


• You are a member of the Uniformed Services, merchant marines or the spouse or a dependent family member and are away from your polling location due to the member’s active duty status, OR


• A U.S. citizen whose residence is in Arkansas but is temporarily living outside the territorial limits of the United States.
Those provisions, as provided by state law, allow the voters of the state to contact their local County Clerk, and request an absentee ballot for one of the stated reasons. I understand many of our citizens may be assisting loved ones or are fearful of exposing a vulnerable family member to the virus. I understand that many are fearful of contacting or passing along the virus to others in the community. While my office continues to work with county officials to prepare polling locations, we are also anticipating and preparing for an increase in Absentee Ballot requests due to the COVID-19 virus.
It is my opinion and belief, that our current laws are sufficient to allow the registered voters of Arkansas the choice of going to their local polling location or requesting an absentee ballot from their local County Clerk. We are fortunate that our lawmakers had the foresight in crafting our election laws to allow for times of being unavoidably absent whether by natural disaster, war, or global pandemic.

Read More

Mount Ida residents asked to not flush wipes

DEWAYNE HOLLOWAY/dewayne@mcnews.online MOUNT IDA - Mount Ida Mayor Jo Childress is asking residents to help the city avoid problems within the local sewer system by...

Get your Montgomery County Fair Catalogue Now!!!

DEWAYNE HOLLOWAY/dewayne@mcnews.online The Montgomery County News is bursting at the seams this week with the inclusion of the annual Montgomery County Fair Catalogue, reminding us...

Caddo Gap VFD receives AFC Grant

Caddo Gap fire department received an Arkansas Forestry Commission wildfire equipment grant consisting of coveralls, work gloves, rakes, two water spray back packs and...

Recent

Mount Ida residents asked to not flush wipes

DEWAYNE HOLLOWAY/dewayne@mcnews.online MOUNT IDA - Mount Ida Mayor Jo Childress is asking residents to help the city avoid problems within the local sewer system by...

Get your Montgomery County Fair Catalogue Now!!!

DEWAYNE HOLLOWAY/dewayne@mcnews.online The Montgomery County News is bursting at the seams this week with the inclusion of the annual Montgomery County Fair Catalogue, reminding us...

Caddo Gap VFD receives AFC Grant

Caddo Gap fire department received an Arkansas Forestry Commission wildfire equipment grant consisting of coveralls, work gloves, rakes, two water spray back packs and...