Out-of-State Students Vote
Out-of-state students have the opportunity to vote in Arkansas if they re-register to vote, officials said.
“I think it’s very important for students to vote because they’re such a big portion of the population,” said Becky Lewallen, Washington County deputy clerk. “Even if they don’t vote locally, it’s important that they vote on issues, even if it’s in their hometowns.”
The college campus is full of people from all over the country, many of whom cannot travel home to vote.
Students have the option to vote by absentee ballot in their hometown, or to register to vote in a new place of residence. Those who choose to re-register must keep their college address up-to-date if changing dorms or moving to an apartment.
“I decided to re-register in Washington County because it’s close,” said Zack Freeman, an undeclared freshman from Bryant, Ark.
Voters in Arkansas must be a citizen of the United States of at least 18 years old before Election Day and a resident of Arkansas for at least 30 days prior to the election. Students wishing to register to vote in Arkansas cannot also be registered under another jurisdiction, according to the Arkansas Secretary of State.
Members of Naturally Blue, an Democratically aligned Political Action Committee that strives to get people registered to vote in northwest Arkansas, have spent the time on the UA campus registering students to vote.
The process is fast and hassle free, members said. The group has registration cards available that they send in to the Secretary of State’s office, saving students on campus postage fees.
“Student voters keep the voting fresh; it’s not just a bunch of old school voters. Fast and easy registration gets the students in the vote,” said Douglas Campbell, a Naturally Blue member who visited campus.
A PDF version of the voter registration form can also be obtained at the Arkansas Secretary of State website. Once the application is completed, residents can submit it in person at the County Clerk’s office or by mail to the Secretary of State whose address can be found on the website.
Students can also register to vote at the county clerk’s office, State Revenue Office, public or state library, public assistance agency, disability agency, military recruitment office or Arkansas Natitonal Guard, according to the Arkansas Secretary of State.
Students wishing to vote in the presidential election must be registered by Oct. 22. Once registered, a voter registration card will be sent in the mail with the proper location where the resident can vote. The process should take no more than a couple of days, according to the Secretary of State’s office.