Election Filing Deadline Approaching
The 2020 election will work a little different than past years, to accommodate voters during primary election years. Under Act 545 of 2019, next year, Arkansas will hold primary elections on March 3. Arkansas will be one of fourteen states to hold primaries on that date, allowing Arkansas residents to help determine party nominations. Only four states hold elections before March 3. Early voting will start February 17, 2020.
The new primary date will also impact the Arkansas General Assembly’s fiscal session, which is held in even-numbered years. During primary election years, the General Assembly fiscal session will be held in April instead of February.
For non-primary election years, the fiscal session will be held in February and voting will take place in May like usual.
Some opposed Act 545 because of the filing changes it made for new political parties, requiring over 26,000 petition signatures, more than doubling the 10,000 signatures required to get on the ballot before the change.
Other election changes include election sites with 15 or more ballot styles will now be able to show samples online for voters to know what to expect when they arrive to vote. When casting their vote, voters will have a time limit of 10 minutes to fill out and submit their ballot to help make voting lines shorter.
The 2020 election filing deadline is Tuesday, November 12 for candidates running in upcoming state elections.
Filing for party pledges, new political party candidates, independent candidates and write-in candidates begins Monday, November 4 at noon. Nominees must have all appropriate paperwork filed before the deadline, to run for a position.
Key elections to watch for in the Arkansas State House are House District 22, which is now open following the expulsion of Rep. Mickey Gates; House District 31, currently represented by Rep. Andy Davis, who is not seeking re-election; and House District 40, currently represented by Rep. Douglas House, who is not seeking re-election.
For specific deadlines and more information, visit https://www.sos.arkansas.gov/uploads/2020_Election_Calendar_7-29-19.pdf
For more information about upcoming elections, contact our government relations team.