Early Voting Begins Today

MAY 8, 2006 - Posted at 7:34 a.m. CST

JONESBORO, AR - Early voting begins today in Arkansas.  Election officials say it doesn't necessarily increase turnout around the state, but offering voters the option of going to the polls early helps cut down on some headaches.

A decade-old service intended to cut down on election day lines continues when Arkansans head to the polls to vote early in the primary election.  The primary isn't until May 23, but Arkansas is one of at least 35 states that offers residents the chance to vote early.

For more than ten years, Arkansas has allowed voters to participate in early voting, a convenience that they're increasingly choosing to use.  Before 1996, early voting was limited to people who believed they would be out of town on Election Day and cast absentee ballots.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)