Early voting begins ... late | Arkansas Blog

Early voting begins ... late

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Early voting for the June 13 primary runoff elections is supposed to begin today, but many counties are not ready to start.

Ann Clements in the secretary of state's office says that they do not have a comprehensive list of which counties have delayed early voting, but coordinators in their office are talking to county officials and should know more by tomorrow.

Part of the problem is that counties are still recounting or otherwise completing tabulation of the May 23 results. In addition, the new touch-screen voting machines have not been reprogrammed for the runoff by their manufacturer, Election Systems and Software (ES&S).

"ES&S informed us that the Ivos [touch-screen voting machines] would be ready by the end of this week," Clements said.

Early voting started this morning in Pulaski County, according to Susan Inman, director of the Pulaski County Election Commission. But that's because she decided not to rely on ES&S.

"We did our own programming and are proceeding on our own," Inman said. "We didn't want to find ourselves in same position we were in before, or the same position other counties are in right now."

Clements added that all Arkansas counties were contacted at the end of last week and instructed to open the polls as soon as voting was practicable by any means they can use, including lever machines and paper ballots.

Clements stressed that counties don't always begin early voting on time, especially when runoff elections follow so closely after an initial vote.

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