Region 8 Folks Taking Advantage of Early Voting Privileges

October 18, 2004--Posted at 5:30 p.m. CDT

JONESBORO--Early voting begins today in Arkansas.

Lines leading to the voting room formed early.

It's a right and a privilege for Americans to exercise their voting rights.

Nancy Nelms is the Craighead County Clerk.

"Now how can they look at their kids and their grand kids and say you are not worth my time for going to the polls, and casting my ballot,"said Nelms.

Different counties use different methods of casting ballots.

Some use the "direct read out"machines, and of course, there are the now infamous punch cards.

But what can voters here in Jonesboro expect?

"If you walk in on Main Street you will go to your left. You need to show your ID to those people.  They will then look you up on the computer. The printout gives your representative district, congressional district, and your senate district,"said Nelms.

Voting in Jonesboro this election year, you will be handed a paper ballot.

You will use the number two pencil provided for you in the voting room, and fill out the oval next to the person you choose.

Then you slide your ballot into the box.

Nelms says some people have expressed concerns about the early voting ballots.

"We have to have a stub, and a ballot, and like three other things, so we won't be stuffing that ballot box because we have a system of checks and balances,"said Nelms.

So far, voters say they are pleased with the process.

Although the lines begin to get longer throughout the day, no complaints from voters we talked to.

"It's as smooth as I have been in since I have been in Arkansas,"said one voter.

Some voters were even able to keep their sense of humor.

"I thought I was in the flu shot line, that's the reason I got here. I decided since they weren't giving flu shots I would go ahead and vote,"said another voter.