Get Registered. Get Loud. Go Vote.
NEW AND FIRST TIME VOTERS
Are you a newly registered voter? Are you registered but have never voted?
It’s normal to feel overwhelmed about the voting process. Go Vote AR is here to help!
Here’s what you can expect if you’re voting for the first time:
What to expect when you vote in person
2 - Decided how to Vote
Decide if you will Vote from Home, Vote Early and in person, or Vote on Election Day.
3 - If you decide to Vote From Home:
You’ll need to fill out an absentee ballot application . Once your ballot arrives, you will fill it out and also provide a copy of your valid ID. Learn more HERE.
4 - When you vote in person
This is what you will need to do:
- Show up at your polling location (listed on your voter registration card. Or confirm your polling site HERE)
- Take a valid ID with you
- Check in. There will be poll workers there to greet you. They will ask you for your name, to see your ID, to confirm your address. Don’t worry if the address on your ID doesn’t match the address of your residence. Just give them the address you used when you registered to vote. They’ll ask you to recite your address.
- They will ask you to sign your name. Now you can go vote!
5 - Cast your ballot
- Depending on your polling site, you may cast your vote on a paper ballot or on an electronic machine. Some polling sites may give you the option to decide how you’d like to cast your vote.
- If you choose to vote electronically, a poll worker will walk you through how to select, move forward, review, and cast your vote.
- If you have questions about how to fill out the ballot, poll workers will be standing by to help you.
What to expect from your ballot
On your ballot, you’ll see a lot of things to choose from. Here’s a summary of what may be on your ballot:
Justice of the peace
Think of them as the city council of your county. JPs manage the county budget, the county sheriff’s department, and county infrastructure, like roads and bridges. Most counties are split into different JP districts, and each JP runs for reelection every 2 years.
They work with the mayor to run the city’s affairs, things like utilities, roads, parking, sidewalks, city laws, zoning requirements, etc. Cities are divided up into wards, and many cities have two Councilmen or Councilwomen per Ward. Their re-election years are staggered. Every city does this a bit differently.
Your mayor is like the President and CEO of your city. They work with their city council or city board to run the affairs of the city.
There are 100 State Representatives in AR. They meet in Little Rock to write laws that affect Arkansans. State Rep races are partisan races, meaning they have a political party affiliation. They tend to cover whole cities and the surrounding areas. The average state rep represents around 30,000 Arkansans.
There are 35 State Senators in AR who meet in Little Rock to write laws that affect Arkansans. State Senate races are also partisan; they tend to cover large regions of the state. The average state senator represents around 65,000 Arkansans. State Reps and State Senators work together to get legislation to the governor to sign into law.
On November 3rd, some judge races will be on the ballot. These are non-partisan races, meaning these judges are not affiliated with a political party. Judgeships tend to span multiple counties. The ones on the ballot in November are the run-offs from the elections that happened in March.
United States House of Representatives
Arkansas has four Congressional districts that span massive stretches of the state. They go to Washington, D.C. and represent Arkansans in the nation’s capital. Every two years, each of these seats is up for grabs.
United States Senate
Arkansas has two Senators who each represent the whole state. Each Senator has to run for reelection every 6 years; some years, there are no Senate races on the ballot. This November, there will be. Senators represent the whole state in the US Senate in DC. They work with the House of Representatives (Congress) to get legislation to the President, to be signed into law.