Early bird gets the vote

Early+voting+will+be+open+until+Monday%2C+Nov.+2.+The+recreation+center+in+Feaster+Park+is+the+polling+location+for+Clark+County.

Lance Brownfield

Early voting will be open until Monday, Nov. 2. The recreation center in Feaster Park is the polling location for Clark County.

National Vote Early Day was Saturday but in Arkansas, early voting began last Monday. In Arkadelphia, the recreation center in Feaster Park is the site used for early voting.

“We figure the line’s gonna be really bad on Election Day,” Doug Gilpin, professor of theatre arts, said.

Gilpin was around 10th in line to vote on the first day of early voting. That Monday 713 people cast their ballots in Clark County. 640 voted the second day.

“It helps alleviate the congestion of everyone trying to vote on one day,” Clark County Judge Barry Francis said.

Francis went on to add that the two weeks of early voting also helps the elderly and disabled because they won’t have to worry about waiting in a long line on a crowded Election Day.

If this is your first election, the ballot may look different than you would expect. It has more than just Trump and Biden. Even Kanye West is still on the ballot in Arkansas and at least 10 other states while he failed to meet requirements in the rest of the country. Altogether, there are 13 presidential and vice presidential tickets in the running.

“Joe Biden is ninth down on the list instead of being second,” Gilpin said. “I had to scroll through two pages to get to Joe Biden. I’m a Democrat. A yellow dog Democrat.”

Depending on where you vote, there could be things like state and local races or ballot measures on your ballot as well. Resources like Ballotpedia can tell you what’s going to be on your ballot.

“Bring your ID,” said Jacob Palmer, a junior major in political science and criminal justice. “Arkansas requires an ID. You don’t have to wear a mask but I did because I did not want to discourage anyone from voting.”

When you go to vote, you will be given a stylus to use on the touch screen voting booth and sign in with a photo ID. Once you have signed in, they will hand you a blank ballot sheet which you will take to an available voting booth. Insert the blank ballot and vote. When you finish voting, the ballot will print out with your selections and you take the ballot and drop it in a ballot box.

“It was real easy,” Gilpin said. “In fact, we were at the donut shop by 8:20.”