Voters flock to the polls for early voting

By Yu Bai
Delta Digital News Service

JONESBORO, Ark. – Early voting in Arkansas began on Monday, October 19.

As polls closed on Monday, November 2, over 17,000 people have turned out to vote early in Jonesboro.

A sign displayed at the Jonesboro City Annex encourages everyone to vote. Photo by Yu Bai

“If you wait until the last day, and you could run into instance where there could be errors like machines done or power goes out,” said Nathan Coleman, of Jonesboro Police Department.

According to data from the Arkansas Secretary of State’s office, there are around 22,100 eligible residents that voted early in 2016. In contrast, the number of early voters this year is much lower.

Craighead County has more than 15 voting locations in the county, and because there are no locations assigned, voters can vote wherever they please.

In the city Jonesboro, the Craighead County Election Annex on Jefferson Street is the selected location for early voting.

New candidates and elected officials can also place their names on the ballot in the city of Jonesboro municipal election.

Issues such as term limits for certain positions are on the ballot.

“The term limits are important because I will only serve two terms, but my opponents are not for that. I also want the pay rise during the first year for the term, ” said incumbent Jonesboro Deputy Clerk Stan Mitchell.

President Donald Trump has already received the endorsement of the local Fraternal Order of the Police.

“He actually received all 50 states endorsements from FOP, and it’s obviously the first time in the history that one candidate received all of them,” Coleman said.

Voters have to bring a picture I.D. to cast their ballots. Once the voter’s information is verified, each voter will receive a card with a bar code and stylus. The card is used to upload the voter’s unique ballot to the screen.

Once the voters make a choice, they will receive a new code card. Voters will be instructed to put it in another machine when leaving the voting building.

In Jonesboro, there are total of 20 voting machines that include two machines for disabled people.

In order to ensure a safe social distance, only 20 people are allowed to enter the voting hall at the same time.

Monday, November 2, was the last day to return your absentee ballots.

Note: Featured photo by Yu Bai