In Arkansas, you have the right to the following items as protected by federal law and election staff must be trained on and respect these rights:
- Accessible voter registration
- Accessible polling places
- Policies and procedures that do not discriminate against you based on your disability
- Accessible, available, and operational voting systems
- Accompaniment by your service animal inside your polling place
- Assistance from a person of your choice, who can be a friend, family member, or poll worker (but not your boss, union agent or someone who has authority over you at work)
- Your right to vote in Arkansas may be affected by a guardianship agreement.
- The statutory provision for guardianship requires the loss of voting privileges unless the guardianship ruling specifically includes those rights. If you need assistance, you may contact: Disability Rights Arkansas at 1-800-482-1174.
To register to vote in Arkansas, you must be:
- A citizen of the United States of America
- Age 18 or turn 18 on or before the next election
- A resident of Arkansas
If you are a student, unhoused, a survivor of intimate partner violence with related concerns, or living with a mental or physical impairment, you may still register and vote.
In Arkansas, you may not register or vote if:
- Your right to vote was specifically removed by a court order, unless your right has been restored
- You have been convicted of a felony and your sentence has not been discharged or pardoned
- In Arkansas, if you are convicted of a felony you regain the right to vote if your felony is expunged, or you have completed your full sentence (including probation or parole), and paid all fees associated with sentencing.
Register to vote now if you are eligible!
Federal law requires assistance in registering to vote from offices that provide public assistance or state-funded programs serving people with disabilities. Responsibilities of these offices include:
- Providing voter registration forms
- Assisting voters in completing the forms
- Transmitting completed forms to the appropriate election official
All aspects of voter registration must be accessible
- In person on Election Day from 7:30am to 7:30pm
- Absentee with excuse
- Early voting
- For certain elections, you can vote early during a 7 or 15-day window prior to Election Day.
- In most counties, early voting will take place at your county clerk’s office.
- In counties with off-site early voting (a location other than the county clerk’s office), local newspapers will publish the designated sites.
- During a preferential primary or a general election, early voting is available between the hours of 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, ending at 5 p.m. on the Monday before the election. Off-site early voting hours may vary by county; watch your local newspaper or contact your county clerk for information.
- During all other elections, early voting is available during your county clerk’s regular office hours.
- If your name or address has changed, you may update your information at the early voting site.
- A provisional ballot at a polling place that is counted after officials confirm your eligibility
- While abroad as a citizen or military member
- You may vote by Absentee Ballot if you are registered to vote in Arkansas and one of the following statements is true:
- You will be unavoidably absent from the polling site on Election Day, or
- You will be unable to attend polling site due to illness or physical disability.
- Contact your county clerk’s office to request an Absentee Ballot Application:
- You do not need to provide a photo I.D. with your absentee ballot application. You may check a box on the application indicating you cannot access your polling location due to your disability
- When your application is approved, you will receive an absentee ballot for all county, state, and federal elections held during the calendar year in which your application was filed. For election cycles that span multiple years, the application will be valid for the entire election cycle
- Your absentee ballot application must be returned to your Absentee Election Manager’s Office via mail by the seventh day before an election or in-person by the fifth day before the election
Contact your county clerk for information on absentee ballots for voters with print disabilities.
Federal law requires polling places to meet minimum compliance standards for individuals with special needs.
- The Voting Accessibility for the Elderly and Handicapped Act of 1984 (VAEHA) requires accessible polling places in federal elections for elderly individuals and people with disabilities. Where no accessible location is available to serve as a polling place, voters must be provided an alternate means of voting in person on Election Day.
- The Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA) requires at least one accessible voting system for persons with disabilities at each polling place in federal elections. The accessible voting system must provide the same opportunity for access and participation, including privacy and independence, that other voters receive.
If you want to check that your polling location meets these standards or find an alternative polling location, contact your local election official.
If you are unable to stand in line, you can:
- Request to be moved to the front of the line or refuse to be moved to the front of the line
- Request that a chair be provided or refuse to accept a chair
- Request to have your place in line held and notified when it is your turn
- You may request assistance from a poll worker or receive assistance from a person of your choice with the following exceptions:
- your employer or an agent of your employer
- an officer or agent of your union
- A poll worker cannot force you to accept assistance.
If you have a problem while exercising your right to vote, you can:
- Notify the State Election Board by submitting an Official Complaint Form
- Contact the organization Disability Rights Arkansas through their website or their Intake Advocate line at 1-800-482-1174
You can also fill out a Violation of Civil Rights Complaint Form and submit it to the US Department of Justice by one of the following methods:
- Online, through the form’s submission process - this is the fastest method
- By fax at (202) 616-9881. You MUST include “ATTN: Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Complaints" at the top of your fax submission for it to be processed correctly
- By mailing your form to:
U.S. Department of Justice
Office of the Inspector General
ATTN: Civil Rights & Civil Liberties Complaints
950 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20530
Contact The National Network of ADA Centers who provide local contact information for other organizations you may wish to contact, including your Regional ADA Center or ADA Knowledge Translation Center, or Federal Agencies and Resources
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