Arkansas State Summary

October 23, 2014



Arkansas is improving accessibility at polling places and the training of poll workers, but it should also implement vote centers and expand opportunities to vote before Election Day

Unsatisfactory

States should adopt online voter registration (“OLVR”).

No online voter registration.

Unsatisfactory

Interstate exchanges of voter information should be expanded.

Arkansas is a member of the Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck (IVRC), but not of the Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC).

Satisfactory

States should seamlessly integrate voter data acquired through DMVs with their statewide voter registration lists.

Arkansas has fully implemented electronic voter registration systems with election officials, such that the entire process of sharing information between DMVs and election administrators is digital.

Unsatisfactory

Schools should be used as polling places; to address any related security concerns, Election Day should be an in-service day.

Arkansas does not have statutory language regarding use of schools or types of buildings to be used as polling places.

Mixed

States should consider establishing vote centers to achieve economies of scale in polling place management while also facilitating voting at convenient locations.

Arkansas statutorily allows but does not require local elections officials to establish vote centers. The law passed in 2013, and the Secretary of State issued regulations in May 2014, so this is relatively new for the state.

Mixed

Jurisdictions should develop models and tools to assist them in effectively allocating resources across polling places.

No statewide rule in place. However, we encourage jurisdictions to utilize the tools made available by the Commission. In 2012, voters waited an average of 12.9 minutes in line.

Mixed

Jurisdictions should transition to electronic pollbooks.

Some counties in Arkansas, but not all, use electronic pollbooks; there is no state-wide mandate.

Satisfactory

Jurisdictions should recruit public and private sector employees, as well as high school and college students, to become poll workers.

Arkansas law provides for a program that allows high school students to be appointed as “election pages” to assist election officers and voters with disabilities. We encourage election officials to establish robust programs to recruit public and private sector employees as well.

Satisfactory

States should institute poll worker training standards.

Arkansas has some statutory language prescribing training for poll workers. Its State Board of Election Commissioners’ website provides several training manuals.

Mixed

Election authorities should establish advisory groups for voters with disabilities and for those with limited English proficiency.

No statewide statutory policy in place. We encourage Arkansas to adopt this recommendation of the Commission.

Satisfactory

States and localities must adopt comprehensive management practices to assure accessible polling places.

Arkansas uses a DOJ-issued accessibility checklist; it has also worked with the Arkansas Disability Rights Center (ADRC) to create a voter demonstration video, which was circulated to every county in 2008.

Mixed

States should survey and audit polling places to determine their accessibility.

Arkansas requires polling places to meet accessibility standards. As the result of a litigation and settlement, Arkansas’s State Board of Election Commissioners must survey each polling site after every general election.

Mixed

Jurisdictions should provide bilingual poll workers to any polling place with a significant number of voters who do not speak English.

Arkansas (not covered by Sec 203 of the Voting Rights Act) does not statutorily provide for bilingual poll workers, but its Secretary of State’s website announces that in jurisdictions with a “statutorily-specified” minimum number of language minority voters, bilingual ballots and assistance will be provided (as a measure for the future).

Unsatisfactory

Jurisdictions should test all election materials for plain language and usability.

No statewide statutory policy in place to test for plain language and usability.

Mixed

States should expand opportunities to vote before Election Day.

Arkansas allows early voting, but does not allow no-fault absentee voting.

Satisfactory

States should provide ballots and registration materials to military and overseas voters via their websites.

A link to the Federal Postcard Application (FPCA) is provided directly on Arkansas’s website, as is a link to the Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot (FWAB).

N/A

The standard-setting and certification process for voting machines must be reformed.

N/A; a federal matter.

Unsatisfactory

Audits of voting equipment must be conducted after each election as part of a comprehensive audit program, and data concerning machine performance must be publicly disclosed in a common data format.

Arkansas has no state requirements for post-election audits.

Satisfactory

Local jurisdictions should gather and report voting-related transaction data for the purpose of improving the voter experience.

Arkansas maintains detailed data and statistics and publishes an analysis of voting trends every two years in a report called “Voices of Arkansas.”

READ: Did We Fix That? 2014 Arkansas State Summary


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