Changes announced for Primary Runoff election

Craighead County Clerk Kade Holliday implemented new procedures to keep voters as safe as possible.

Changes announced for Primary Runoff election

JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - You can expect voting in the State Representative District 53 Primary Runoff to take longer due to COVID-19 concerns.

According to a news release by Craighead County Clerk Kade Holliday, they haven't gotten any guidance from the governor about this election.

That’s why Clerk Holliday said they would implement new procedures to keep voters as safe as possible.

The Craighead County Election Commission has been working with the Secretary of State and the Association of Arkansas Counties to determine a course of action to protect our voters during this COVID-19 emergency. As Arkansas Law does not permit County Board of Election Commissioners, the County Clerk or the County Judge to unilaterally cancel or postpone in-person voting, Craighead County will have to proceed with the March 31, 2020, Runoff Election as planned.
Jennifer Clack, Craighead County Election Coordinator

The District 53 House race between Republicans Cole Peck and Jon Milligan went to a runoff earlier this year because none of the candidates had more than 50% of the votes.

Cole Peck and Jon Milligan will face off in a runoff election on March 31.
Cole Peck and Jon Milligan will face off in a runoff election on March 31. (Source: KAIT)

Peck, who is in his second run for the District 53 seat, will face Milligan, who has been Lake City mayor for nearly 10 years.

Early voting will start March 24 at County Clerks office in Jonesboro on 511 S. Main Street in Jonesboro and the Annex to the Courthouse in the Old Hair Loft Building in Lake City.

Holliday also revealed people will be screened at these sites and each machine and sign-in tablet will be disinfected before the next voter can cast their ballot.

However, that may change once they get more guidance from federal and state entities.

From March 24 to March 30, you can vote between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.

There will be no voting on Saturday and Sunday.

The primary runoff election is set for March 31st and the following polls will be open from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m:

  • Bay Community Center, 305 Cherry Street, Bay, AR
  • Brookland Baptist Church, 200 N. Oak, Brookland, AR
  • Caraway City Hall, 102 E. State St., Caraway, AR
  • First National Bank Arena (Lower Red Entrance), 217 Olympic Dr., Jonesboro, AR
  • Lake City Courthouse, 107 Cobean Blvd., Lake City, AR
  • Monette Legion Hut, 209 E. Drew St., Monette, AR
  • New Hope Baptist Church, 101 S. Main St., Black Oak, AR

Holliday announced the State Board of Election Commissioners suggested to further limit your exposure by casting an absentee ballot if they will be absent from the voting place or unable to vote because of illness or physical disability.

“The SBEC is taking the position that warnings from public health officials to avoid large gatherings of people when possible is a sufficient basis for voters who ordinarily would not qualify for absentee voting to do so in the March 31st Primary Runoff Election,” Holliday said.

This is an absentee ballot application example.
This is an absentee ballot application example. (Source: Craighead County Clerk Kade Holliday)

IMPORTANT NOTE: THE DEADLINE FOR THE COUNTY CLERK TO RECEIVE ABSENTEE BALLOT APPLICATIONS BY MAIL, FAX OR EMAIL FOR THE RUNOFF ELECTION IS TUESDAY, MARCH 24TH.

IF OUR OFFICE DOES NOT RECEIVE YOUR APPLICATION BY MAIL, FAX OR EMAIL BY MARCH 24TH, THEN THE APPLICATIONS MUST BE PERSONALLY DELIVERED BY THE VOTER, DESIGNATED BEARER OR ADMINISTRATOR BY MARCH 30TH.

Steps for Absentee Voting

1. Request an absentee ballot application from our office or open the link below for an application.

2. Complete the application for your absentee ballot and return it to our office. Completed applications are accepted by fax (870-933-4514), email (kholliday@craigheadcounty.org) or US Mail to 511 S. Main, St 202, Jonesboro AR 72401.

Once received and accepted, we will issue an absentee ballot to you by the method you selected on your application. UOCAVA voters (uniformed and overseas citizens) may request electronic delivery of their absentee ballot.

3. Complete your ballot and return it to our office as instructed.

NOTE: The last day we can receive absentee ballot applications by mail, fax or email is 3/24/2020.

Please feel free to contact my office at 870-933-4520 for any additional information or further assistance.

Arkansas Law does not permit the County Board of Election Commissioners, the County Clerk, or the County Judge to unilaterally cancel or postpone in-person voting. If you would like to express concerns or personal opinion, please contact the following:

Arkansas Governor 501-682-2345 or email at press@governor.arkansas.gov

Arkansas State Senator https://senate.arkansas.gov/senators/senator-search/ to find and contact your State Senator

Arkansas State Representative https://www.arkansashouse.org/learn/district-map to find and contact your State Representative

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