Arkansas sees record number of absentee ballots requested


LITTLE ROCK, Ark.- This election year the natural state is seeing a record number of absentee ballots requested. 

Nearly 132,000 people have requested absentee ballots this year, which is 100,000 more than in 2016. 

“We’ve seen record numbers obviously for absentee ballot requests and even those that have been returned,” said John Thurston, Secretary of State.

More than 115,000 Arkansans submitted their ballots by mail, Thurston says that nearly four times the amount in 2016.

“With COVID people are concerned with their health,” says Thurston.

Leslie Bellamy, the Director of Elections for the Secretary of State said so far all the absentee ballots have been canvassed. A process that started in October, where each ballot packet is checked.

“Making sure everything is vetted in that ballot packet back by law,” said Leslie Bellamy, Director of Elections for the Secretary of State.

Bellamy said on Election Day at 8:30 a.m. the ballots will be opened, fed into a machine and each vote will be counted.

“They will be counted. However long it takes they will be counted,” said Thurston.

Thurston said for the first time in state history, all of the counties are using the same election equipment. So even with the large numbers, he said we should get results quickly.

The counting process is open to the public.

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