Arkansas prepares for high number of absentee ballots

TEXARKANA, Ark. - Election day is more than a month away, but more Arkansans have requested absentee ballots this year because of COVID-19 concerns.

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson signed an executive order in August allowing voters to use absentee ballots if they had concerns about their health.

Miller County election administrators said absentee ballots for military and oversees voters will be mailed out on Friday. Next week, the clerk's office will begin mailing out all other absentee ballot requests.

Election Coordinator Linda Crawford said they've already received about 350 applications for absentee ballots, which is about 200 more than the last presidential election. Crawford is encouraging all voters to get their absentee ballots mailed back, or preferably handed in at the clerk's office.

"There have been some major delays. If they want to mail them back in then they need to do that as soon as possible, so we can be sure to get them back at the the deadline," said Crawford.

The deadline to request an absentee ballot by mail is Oct. 27, but voters can still request an absentee ballot in person on election day.

Crawford suggests only doing that in a dire emergency. She says the clerk's office is very busy on election day.

RELATED ARTICLE: COVID-19 pandemic prompts election changes in Miller Co.

Early voting begins Oct. 19.

Voting has been moved from the courthouse to the Cabe Center to allow for social distancing.

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