Working Out the Kinks Before Election Day

November 6, 2006 - Posted at 5:52 p.m. CST

LAWRENCE & CRAIGHEAD COUNTIES, AR -- A turnout of 55% of Arkansas voters are expected in Tuesday's general election and Region 8 counties are hoping they have worked out the kinks following the problems that arouse in the May primaries.

The second Tuesday in November is once again upon us and it's time to wheel out voting machines and head to the polls. Several counties including Craighead and Lawrence are hoping the general election run smoother than the primaries.

"We've done a lot more testing on the machines and everything seems to be working fine it's always Murphy's Law.  If anything can wrong it will but everything seems to be working fine right now," said Lawrence Country Clerk Tina Stowers.

Following the problems in May, Lawrence County is doing things differently in November.

"We have had some changes, that's because getting trained poll workers is a problem. So if we can we have been moving some from one polling site to another," said Stowers.

However the biggest change in Lawrence County involves the increasing reliance on electronic voting machines.

"There will be no paper ballots unless they are provisional ballots for this election," said Stowers.

Craighead County is using a mix of machines and paper with the average voting process taking around eight minutes.

"At times there is a line but people haven't had to wait too long. I am safe to say they will stand around longer in Wal-Mart than when they voted today," said Craighead County Clerk Nancy Nelms.

While eight minutes is extremely fast, voters should still expect to be in and out in less than 30 minutes.

"I expect a pretty high turnout tomorrow. If early voting is any indication I expect a high turnout," said Nelms.

Polls open Tuesday morning at 7:30 a.m. and until 7:30 p.m. Don't forget to bring a valid form of identification with you to your polling place.

If you are not sure which voting precinct you are scheduled to cast your vote, you are encouraged to call your local county clerk.