More than 26,000 vote early in Arkansas

LITTLE ROCK — By 5 p.m. Monday, with an hour to go before polls closed, 26,763 Arkansans had taken advantage of early voting, said Alex Reed, spokesman for Secretary of State Mark Martin.

Reed said the turnout had already exceeded the turnout of 26,260 for the first day of early voting in 2008.

Early voting for the Nov. 6 election began Monday and will end on Nov. 5 at locations across the state. Polls will be open on election day from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Voters can contact their local county clerk to ask about early voting locations and make sure they are registered to vote.

Martin said voters can also go to the secretary of state’s website to check their registration status.

Voters should be prepared to show identification and verify their address to ensure they receive the correct ballot, Martin said.

Voters will cast ballots in the presidential race, congressional races, numerous legislative races, three ballot questions and a host of municipal races statewide.

Republicans are seeking to win a majority in the state House and Senate while Democrats strive to maintain control of both chambers.

Also on the ballot are proposals that would temporarily raise the state sales tax by half a cent to finance a $1.8 billion bond issue to build a statewide four-lane highway system; allow cities and counties to create districts for development and redevelopment projects, issue bonds payable from city and county sales taxes and retire unfunded liabilities of closed local police and fire pension plans; and legalize marijuana for medical use by people with certain medical conditions.

Two ballot questions on casino gambling are on the ballot, but votes for and against them will not be counted because the state Supreme Court ruled both measures were invalid.