Voting in Northwest Arkansas: a hub of information

October 24, 2016 jamiesmith

It’s that time again to decide the course of our country through the decision of the people. Whether you are Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, or another social party, this is the time to help decide the next president of the United States of America, as well as many other vital federal, state and local offices.

 

Early voting begins Monday, October 24 and the regular election day is Tuesday, November 8.

 

We at NWA Communities decided to make voting a little simpler by providing a hub of information about voting in Northwest Arkansas.

 

Where to Vote

It’s first important to note that early voting locations are entirely different from the election day voting locations. Both Benton and Washington counties provide a growing number of early voting locations.

 

  • Early voting locations for Benton County can be found here.
  • Early voting locations for Washington County can be found here.

 

Remember that early voting is only available through November 7 during the hours listed for each location.

 

For election day, all polls are open 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Each person’s voting location is decided by precinct and the location could have changed since the previous election so it’s always advisable to check this information before heading to the voting place.

 

  • Benton County election day locations are here.
  • Washington County election day locations are here.

 

 

Preparing for the elections

Choosing how you vote is an important decision for every individual. Before you vote, we recommend doing research to make the process as smooth as possible.

 

First, check your voter registration status. You can do that here, on the Secretary of State’s website. Once you arrive at your individualized voter registration information, you can access a sample ballot from the same page that displays your voter information.

 

Research about each candidate should be done on their individual websites or social media pages. Some media outlets have also offered interviews for various races.

It’s important to note that each ballot in Arkansas will hold several questions that are not involving electing individuals.

 

This voting guide provides excellent, non-partisan explanations for each ballot issue. You can use this worksheet (you must print it out) to help you remember which way you decided to vote.

 

What to expect when voting

 

  • Large crowds are expected for this election, so lines might be long. Go at less busy times if possible and early vote if possible.
  • When you arrive at the check-in table, officials will ask your name, address and date of birth
  • A photo I.D. will also be requested at that time.
  • If you registered by mail after January 1, 2003, are a first-time voter and did not submit the required I.D. with your voter registration application, you may be required to show I.D. to vote a regular ballot. These ballots must show your name and address plus either a valid photo I.D. or current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck or any government document that fits the criteria.
  • For first-time voters that do not present the necessary identification number, the official will instruct you on voting a provisional ballot.

 

We know that in this age of social media, it’s popular to share voting status on various social channels. While it is not illegal to share a picture of your ballot, it is not advised (it is illegal in several states). We hope you join the conversation by sharing a picture of your “I voted!” sticker, however!

Writers Wayne Hahne and Jamie Smith contributed to this report.