Editor's note: The following information came from the Secretary of State's website:

Are you eligible to vote in the upcoming general election? The Arkansas Secretary of State's Office outlines eligibility rules on its website, as well as other voter registration questions.

In order to vote, you must:

• Be a citizen of the United States

• Be an Arkansas resident (residing in Arkansas at least 30 days before the first election in which you will vote)

• Be age 18 or turn 18 on or before the next election

• Not be convicted of a felony without your sentence having been discharged or pardoned

• Not be presently adjudged as mentally incompetent as to your ability to vote by a court of competent jurisdiction

Where can i apply?

County clerk’s office in your home county

Register to vote at your local: Office of Driver Services, State Revenue Division (application can be transmitted electronically or you can pick up a paper form to complete and mail in), local public library or Arkansas State Library, public assistance agencies (that provide services under Food Stamps, Medicaid, Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC), and the Special Supplemental Food Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) programs, agencies that offer state-funded programs and services to persons with disabilities, military recruitment office Arkansas National Guard or at a voter registration drive.

Obtain an application from: Apply by mail, your county clerk, Secretary of State Elections Division, 1-800-247-3312 or online at www.sos.arkansas.gov/elections

I.D. requirements for registration

You must provide either your Arkansas driver’s license number or the last four digits of your Social Security number on your Arkansas Voter Registration Application. If you don't have either a driver's license or Social Security number, check the box in #9 on the application.

If you are registering to vote by mail:

If you check the box indicating that you do not possess either a driver’s license or Social Security number, you should submit a photocopy of one of the following with your mail-in application:

1. Current and valid photo identification,or

2. A copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check or paycheck that shows your name and address, or

3. Other government document that shows your name and address.

If you do not provide a driver’s license number, a social security number or an identification document that meets the above requirements, you may be required to vote a Provisional Ballot when you vote for the first time.

Registration deadlines

New Registration — You must submit your application to an official voter registration agency or mail it no later than 30 days prior to an election in which you wish to vote. The postmark on a mailed application will be its submission date.

Voter Registration Drive — If you completed your application at a voter registration drive, the organizers must submit it to the county clerk or Secretary of State’s office within 21 days of the date on the application and no later than 30 days prior to the next election.

Address Change — If you are changing your residence to another county within the state, your updated registration must be received by the county clerk's office in the new county no later than 4 days before a scheduled election.

If you submit your application close to an election registration deadline, you are strongly advised to follow up with your county clerk BEFORE Election Day.

When an election deadline is near, there is one method of application that will ensure your eligibility: apply in person with your county clerk.

How Do I Know I’m Registered?

Consider yourself registered when — and only when — you receive an acknowledgment from your county clerk. This may take several weeks, regardless of your method of application.

If you do not receive a notice within two weeks of applying, call your county clerk or go to www.VoterView.org and enter your name and date of birth to see if your application has been processed.

Special Registration Issues

If you have moved to Arkansas from another state, notify the voter registrar in your previous state of residence to request cancellation. Be sure to submit a new registration application to your county clerk in Arkansas.

If you are registered in another state or county:

If you have moved from one county to another within Arkansas, you must transfer your registration to your new county of residence.

For questions about transferring your registration, ask your county clerk for assistance.

If you are a college student attending college OUTSIDE of your home county:

You must decide which county you consider “home.” If you plan to live in your home county after college, then list your parents’ address as your residence. If you do NOT intend to return there, you may list your college address as your residence. Remember: you must keep your address CURRENT on your voter registration. That's one reason college students often list their parents’ address, which may not change as often.

If you own property in more than one county:

You must register to vote wherever you actually “live or reside.” Owning property or a business in a county does not constitute residency in that county.

If you are in the military:

For voting purposes, military service members, their families and U.S. citizens residing overseas may use the address where they resided before entering service or their legal U.S. residence as the address where they register to vote. You may register to vote using an Arkansas Voter Registration Application or a Federal Post Card Application (FPCA SF-76). The FPCA simultaneously serves all states and territories as both a registration form and application for an absentee ballot.

Military personnel may contact their county clerk, the Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) or their Voting Assistance Officer for further information or to obtain a Federal Post Card Application (FPCA). Call 1-800-438-8683 or e-mail the program at vote@fvap.gov or go to www.fvap.gov.

For Arkansas-specific information, visit:

 

Updating your voter information

Once you’re registered, it’s important to update your voter information whenever you move or have a legal name change. Keeping your record current can help avoid delays on Election Day. It's easy to do using the Arkansas Voter Registration Application.

Complete a Voter Registration Application, checking the box for "This is an address change" and completing the bottom half of the form. Submit it to the county clerk in your new county no later than 4 days before a scheduled election. Otherwise, you will not be eligible to vote in your new county for that election.

If you move within Arkansas:

Counties will periodically mail notices to voters who have not voted in several elections. If you receive such a notice, it is important that you mark your correct address and return the notice to the county clerk so your registration can be updated.

The Secretary of State performs another safeguard: routinely checking for duplicate registrations across the state. Just to make sure, it’s best for you to notify the county clerk in your old county and confirm that your registration has been transferred.

If you legally change your name due to marriage, divorce or other reason, complete a Voter Registration Application and check the box for "This is a name change," making sure to complete the bottom half of the form.

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