Originally posted at Writeindependent.org on October 18, 2011
When I called the Arkansas Secretary of State’s office today, I found out that you should have no problem writing in a candidate for Congressman, Senator, or President, just so long as you spell their name correctly. If there is a question as to whether or not a candidate can be written in, the following letter should dispel any myth that write-ins are not allowed.
So long as the rules haven’t changed since 2006, write-in voting via absentee ballot is allowed, so it goes to follow that a vote cast in person the same way should be allowed also.
Because of delays in printing ballots in several counties, the State of Arkansas is taking steps to assure that each overseas absentee voter has the opportunity to cast a ballot in the upcoming election. Therefore, each county that has not been able to assure that ballots would be mailed to overseas voters by October 13, 2006, is sending a copy of the federal write-in absentee ballot to each overseas voter.
Enclosed please find a copy of the federal write-in absentee ballot, a copy of the candidate/measure list for your county and an envelope to return the ballot to your county.
You will probably receive the standard absentee ballot at a later date. You should feel free to complete the standard ballot and return it as well. Even if you send both the federal write-in absentee ballot and the standard ballot, you will not be penalized for “voting twice”. If the standard ballot arrives at the county clerk’s office by November 17, 2006, it will be counted and the federal write-in absentee ballot will not. The federal write-in absentee ballot will be counted only if the standard ballot does not arrive by November 17, 2006.
To cast your vote for federal offices on the federal write-in absentee ballot, for each office for which you vote write either the candidate’s name or the political party designation on the ballot. To cast your vote for state and local offices, simply decide who you want to vote for then write in the office and the candidate’s name on your ballot. To cast your vote on a measure, write the number then “yes” to vote for the measure or “no” to vote against the measure.
You may only vote in local races where you are qualified by residence. If you do not know your precinct or which local races you may be eligible to vote in, you may contact your county clerk or a family member if you have access to a telephone. You can find your county clerk’s telephone number on our website at: www.sos.arkansas.gov/elections_military_voting.html. Information regarding congressional districts, circuit court districts, and state legislative districts can be found at: www.VoteNaturally.org. Just click on the red “Search Your Voter Registration Information” link. If you vote in a race where you are not qualified by residence, that vote will not be counted, but the remainder of your ballot will be.
After you have voted your ballot, place it in the return envelope provided by the county clerk along with the completed Voter’s Declaration/Affirmation. Please be advised that a witness signature is unnecessary, but YOUR SIGNATURE is necessary.
Thank you for your participation in this election.
Secretary of State
State of Arkansas