Arkansas Student Voting Guide

Registration Deadline

Voter Registration Deadline: 30 days before Election Day

Voter registration forms, polling place locations, and more information can be found at www.sos.arkansas.gov/elections/Pages/default.aspx

What Type of ID Do I Need to Register?

You generally won’t have to submit any identification with your registration. Only students who register in Arkansas for the first time by mail or during a voter registration drive and did not provide their Arkansas driver’s license number, state ID card number, or the last four digits of their Social Security number on their registration need to submit a copy of identification with their registration or present it when voting. Acceptable forms of identification include a copy of a valid photo ID, utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or any other official government document that shows the voter’s name and address.

Register at School or Home?

Students have a choice about where to register to vote.

School address:

  • Students attending college in Arkansas may register at their school address. You must plan to return after temporary absences, like summer break, but do not have to plan to reside at that address permanently.

Permanent address:

  • Students may choose to register or remain registered at a permanent address in Arkansas or outside the state. In this case, students may need to vote by absentee ballot.

You may only be registered and vote in one location.

What Type of ID Do I Need to Vote?

In October 2014, the Supreme Court of Arkansas struck down the voter ID law.  Please see the first-time registrant information in the “What type of ID do I Need to Register?” box above.  Otherwise, you do not need to show ID to vote. Students voting by a mailin ballot (“absentee”) need to submit with their ballot a copy of a valid photo ID or a copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document that shows their name and address. 

Where Do I Vote?

Polling place locator online at www.voterview.org through the Secretary of State’s website. Voters must cast their ballots in the correct precinct. Sometimes there are multiple precincts in one polling place, so confirm your precinct ahead of time and get in the correct line! 

How Can I Vote?

By Mail

  • Arkansas residents who “will be unavoidably absent from his or her voting place” on Election Day or will be unable to go to the polls due to illness or physical disability may vote by mail-in absentee ballot.
  • Absentee ballot applications must be received by the county clerk 7 days before the election if sent by mail, email or fax.
  • Students may request an absentee ballot in person up until the day before the election. Contact your county clerk for more information.
  • Completed absentee ballots should be returned to the county clerk’s office the day before Election Day if delivered in person by the voter or by 7:30 p.m. on Election Day if delivered by mail.

Early In Person Early voting is available to any registered voter beginning 15 days before most elections.  For some elections such as runoffs early in person voting begins 7 days before the election.  Contact your county clerk’s office to confirm locations. On Election Day at the Polls The polls are open from 7:30 a.m. until 7:30 p.m. 

Will voting in Arkansas affect my federal financial aid?

Where you register to vote will not affect federal financial aid such as Pell Grants and Perkins or Stafford loans or your dependency status regarding FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). 

Does being an out-of-state student for tuition purposes affect my right to vote in my college community?

No. You may choose to vote in your college community or back home regardless of your tuition status.

Will I lose my scholarship if I register to vote in Arkansas?

Generally, no. If you receive scholarship money from a state, county, town, or a private entity (i.e., an entity other than the federal government) you should confirm that residency in a particular place is not a requirement of the scholarship and/or that voter registration in Arkansas will not affect your eligibility. 

Will registering to vote in Arkansas affect my driver’s license or car registration?

As a fulltime student in Arkansas, you may have to make these changes regardless of whether you register to vote in Arkansas. For more information, you may wish to contact the Arkansas Office of Driver Services. 

 

Will registering to vote in Arkansas prevent my parents from claiming me as a dependent on their taxes?

No. Students are often told that registering to vote in a different state from their parents will make them lose their dependency status. This is not true. Where you register to vote will have no effect on your parent’s tax status. 

This Guide was prepared by FELN staff who are not licensed to practice law in Arkansas and FELN intends that the information contained herein is used only as a general guide. This document should not be used as a substitute for consultation with a licensed Arkansas legal professional.

Last updated June 2016