Arkansas governor signs several bills that change elections in the Natural State

Published: Mar. 18, 2023 at 3:58 PM CDT|Updated: Mar. 18, 2023 at 6:26 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - Arkansas Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders signed several bills on Thursday. Three of the bills make changes to elections in the Natural State.

Senate Bill 254 eliminates write-in candidates from elections. The new law makes it so that candidates cannot register as write-in candidates. It also says that no votes for write-in candidates will be counted in elections.

The governor also signed House Bill 1510 into law, which changes when special elections can be held. Now, special elections can only be held on the second Tuesday of March or November during presidential election years or the second Tuesday in May or November any other year.

There is an exception for emergency special elections that says special elections can be held any month of the year if certain qualifications are met. The changes will go into effect on January 1, 2024.

And there are new rules for paper ballots in Arkansas due to the signing of Senate Bill 250. If a county decides to use paper ballots in an election, the new law says those ballots must be compatible with the state’s electronic vote counters.

The ballots have to be put through the machine before being counted by hand. And that count has to be done with numbers submitted to the Arkansas Secretary of State less than 24 hours after the polls close.

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