Election Day in Clark County

Election+day+comes+to+an+end+at+the+Clark+County+Training+Center+voting+site.

Kelly Stiles

Election day comes to an end at the Clark County Training Center voting site.

Kelly Stiles, Lance Brownfield, and KaBryn Grayson

“I got in and out in about five minutes,” 33-year-old CRNA at St. Vincent Hospital Kathryn Speights said after voting on election night at the Caddo Valley City Hall voting center.

A monument in Amity displaying the United States’ “Pledge of Allegiance” is a fitting reminder of the citizen’s right to vote. (Lance Brownfield)

Voting officials reported that foot-traffic was slow at polling sites in Clark County. Over 5,200 Clark County citizens participated in early voting, an outcome that Sheriff Berry Robertson attributes to the current COVID-19 pandemic, as people may be avoiding large crowds.

 

“When the loggers get out of the woods, we’ll be seeing more folks,” election official in Amity, Heather Smithpeters said on election night.

 

290 voters came to the voting site of the Amity Municipal Building, Okolona City Hall received 158 voters, Caddo Valley City Hall had 141 voters, and Clark County Training Center saw 87 voters by early evening. The Okolona voting officials mentioned that they usually have at least one voter arrive on a tractor. 

Sheriff Frederick Middleton and his fellow election officials celebrate the end of a successful election day at the Clark County Training Center. (Kelly Stiles)

“When it starts getting dark we’ll get another wave of hunters in camo,” election official in Okolona, Natalie West said.

 

In Clark County, a total of 8,392 people voted with 1,249 who voted on election day. The county voted in favor of Trump with 4,605 votes, while Joseph Biden received 3,413 votes. Clark County votes that U.S. senator Tom Cotton (R) should keep his position with 5,074 votes compared to his opponent Ricky Dale Harrington Jr. ‘s 2,955 votes. The vote for the U.S. Congress seat of district 4 went to Bruce Westerman (R) with a total of 4,954, William H. Hanson (D) followed up behind with 3,115 Clark County votes. Clark County chose Bruce Maloch (D) to be the state senator for district 12 with 3,153 votes, with Charles Bechham (R) sitting at 2,815.

The voting officials of Amity gather in front of a ballot machine. (Lance Brownfield)

The state representative for district 18 remains Arkadelphia resident Richard Womack (R) who ran unopposed. District 19 state representative Justin Gonzales (R) also ran unopposed. Clark County voted in favor of Jenna Scott (R) for justice of the peace in district 7 with 529 votes as her opposing candidate received 382 votes.

 

Clark County voted in favor of issue one, with 4,973 for and 3,280 against the issue. Issue two received a similar response with 4,547 who voted for and 3,545 who voted against. Issue three received a negative reaction from Clark County as 3,745 voted for and 4,230 voted against.

 

Before an individual voted, they are given a red or blue stylus reading “I Voted” as well as a sticker reading the same message. A stylus was given to voters in order to limit the amount of physical contact to tablets where verification signatures were required and to the touch-screen voting stations.

 

“Voting is more streamlined than ever,” Robertson said.

 

In addition to changes due to COVID, Clark County also experienced changes regarding precincts. There are now nine precincts in Clark County opposed to the previous 12.

 

In the last presidential election, President Donald Trump (R) received 4,404 votes in Clark County and Hillary Clinton (D) received 3,620 votes. If Trump is not re-elected, he will be the first single term President since George Bush Sr.; Also, Biden would be the oldest President in United States history. According to Political Science Quarterly, it is more likely for an incumbent President to win a presidential election.

 

During the presidential election process, several key states are observed closely as their Republican and Democratic votes are often close in number. These are called “swing states.” Typically, swing states include Arizona, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. This election cycle, however, fellow southern states Georgia and Texas are among the swing states.

 

Arkansas is considered a “red state” as its voting results are usually in favor of the Republican party. In the presidential election of Bill Clinton (D) and George H. W. Bush, Arkansas defied the odds and voted for a democratic presidential candidate. As Hot Springs is the boyhood home of Bill Clinton, voters supported the Arkansas native who inevitably won the election, but was later impeached. The last time Clark County voted Democratic was in 2004.

 

“I am not offended if someone chooses not to vote,” Sheriff Frederick Middleton said. “You have no say in the matter if you don’t vote, though.”