Primary Filing Period Begins Monday

Thursday, October 29, 2015

During the most recent special legislative session Arkansas lawmakers approved a change in the date for the upcoming preferential primaries, moving them to March 1. As a result, the party filing period for next year's November election will begin next Monday, Nov. 2. In years past, the filing period did not begin until January of the election year. It was moved-up by lawmakers as the state joined a group of others from the south in a new "super primary."

With the change of dates, the filing period for the March 1 primary election will be going on from noon on Monday, Nov. 2, through noon on Monday, Nov. 9, at county clerk's offices across the state.

The deadline to apply to register to vote for the March primary is Monday, Feb. 1. And, according to the Secretary of State's office many would-be first time voters in Arkansas do not have their votes counted because they were not actually registered. All voters are encouraged to check their status in advance of the registration cut-off. The information is also available online at

Lawmakers indicated the change was made in an effort to increase turnout for the primary election, and to make the state more important as it relates to the presidential campaigns.

Election officials note turnout during primary elections is historically much lower than turnout in November. In Arkansas in 2012, only 21 percent of eligible voters cast a ballot in the primaries although during the general election 66 percent voted.

Anyone unsure about their voter registration status may visit either of the Clay County Clerk's offices in Piggott or Corning, or may call 598-2813.

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