League of Women Voters

Arkansas Absentee Ballot

To be qualified to vote an absentee ballot, you must meet one of the following criteria:

  • You will be unavoidably absent from your polling site on Election Day (the law does not require you to give a reason)
  • You will be unable to attend your polling site on election day due to illness or physical disability
  • You are a member of the U.S. armed forces, merchant marines or the spouse or a dependent family member
  • A U.S. citizen domiciled in Arkansas but temporarily living outside the territorial limits of the United States

You can obtain an application for an absentee voting ballot from your county clerk who may mail or fax you an application, or you can fill out an absentee ballot request form here. You may also request an application in person at your county clerk's office. On the application, there is a reference to a designated bearer. This is anyone chosen by you to pick up or deliver your ballot. On the application, there is a reference to an agent and an authorized agent. This means if you are a hospital patient or a resident in a long-term care facility, then an administrator of the facility may assist you in the absentee voting process. This person must file an affidavit with the local county clerk to become your authorized agent.

The deadline to submit your absentee ballot is dependent upon on your method for submitting the application back to the county clerk:

  • In person by you: close of business the day before the election
  • By designated bearer: close of business the day before the election
  • By mail or by fax: 7 days before the election
  • By authorized agent: 1:30 pm on Election Day

Note: The law does not prohibit county clerks from mailing absentee ballot applications during the seven days prior to an election. However, if you receive the application during that window, you or your chosen bearer must deliver it personally to the county clerk. You can receive your application for absentee ballot by picking it up in person, receiving it by mail, or by allowing a bearer to pick it up (an administrator, authorized agent or designated bearer.) The law only specifies a time window for designated bearers. They may pick up your ballot no earlier than 15 days before a preferential or general election and no earlier than 7 days before a runoff. You should pick up your ballot based on the ability to deliver it back to the county clerk on time. Again, to submit your ballot the deadline depends on your method of delivery:

  • In person by you: close of business the day before the election
  • By mail: by 7:30 p.m. on Election Day
  • By designated bearer: 7:30 p.m. on Election Day
  • By authorized agent: 7:30 p.m. on Election Day

Separate applications for absentee ballots are needed for every election. You must submit a new application for each election cycle. If you reside outside your county of registration (such as students or military voters,) are disabled or reside in a care facility, you will receive applications through the next two regularly scheduled general elections for federal office, including any runoff elections which may occur as a result of the outcome of the general election. You must indicate this preference on the application itself.

Voter ID Needed for Absentee Voting:

If you are voting absentee, you must provide a copy of one of the following forms of ID:

  • Valid photo ID (drivers license, passport)
  • Utility Bill
  • Bank Statement
  • Government check
  • Paycheck
  • Other government document that shows your name and address

You do not need to provide ID when voting absentee if you are:

  • A uniformed service member or merchange marine on active duty who is absent from the county because of active duty or service
  • The spouse or dependent of a uniformed service member or merchange marine, who is away from the county due to the active duty or service of the uniformed service member or merchant marine
  • Residents of a long-term care or residential care facility. These voters must provide a letter or other document from the facility's administrator that the voter is a resident of the facility

Overseas citizens and U.S. military personnel can find information on how to register to vote and request an absentee ballot at the Overseas Vote Foundation.


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Election Day Problems?

Call one of these hotlines:
1-866-OUR-VOTE (866-687-8683)
1-888-VE-Y-VOTA (en Español)
1-888-API-VOTE (Asian multilingual assistance)
1-844-418-1682 (Arabic)


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