Primary Election Drawing Voters To The Polls, One Problem Reported

Mar 1, 2016

File photo of a polling location along 7th Street in Little Rock.
Credit Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Arkansas voters are turning out at voting precincts across the state to select their choice for president in Republican and Democratic presidential primary elections. Other state and local races are also on the ballot.

Voting at North Little Rock City Hall Tuesday, George and M'Liss Collins, who own a garden center, say they cast their ballots for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the Democratic presidential primary. M'Liss Collins says she thinks Clinton has the experience the nation needs.

James Wright, a software engineer, says he voted for Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primary. Wright says he supported Clinton in the Democratic primary in 2008, but said Sanders' message appealed to him more this year. Wright says his message about trying to get money out of the political election system really would be good for the country.

Rain greeted Arkansas voters as polls opened in the state Tuesday. 

Arkansas Secretary of State spokesman Chris Powell said it was too early to predict the turnout, but said the rain was expected to end around noon and that absentee voting has been strong.
 
Powell said nearly 200,000 voters cast early ballots, nearly double the number in 2012. He said voters who are not sure of where to vote can find their information online at www.voterview.org .

Voting was delayed at one polling place in North Little Rock when the person in charge of the location - the chief judge - arrived late.

Pulaski County Election Director Bryan Poe says the chief judge arrived at about 7:45 a.m., 15 minutes after polls were to open. He said some voters may have left before the precinct was opened for voting.

No other major problems have been reported at this point.

Polls remain open until 7:30.

Lawmakers moved up the state's primary last year, and Arkansas has been crowded with presidential visits during the past week. Republicans Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio have all campaigned in the state, as has Democratic hopeful Hillary Clinton.

The election features two nonpartisan races for the state Supreme Court, including a chief justice campaign that's been dominated by record spending by outside groups. It also includes several Republican legislative primaries that have centered on the state's hybrid Medicaid expansion.

You can hear Arkansas election results Tuesday night, along with NPR’s coverage of Super Tuesday beginning at 7 p.m. on KUAR.