Turnout Expected To Be Light For Arkansas Primary Election

May 19, 2014

A sign outside a Little Rock polling location in a local March election.
Credit Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Arkansas election officials are predicting 20 percent of the state's 1.6 million registered voters will cast a ballot in Tuesday's primary election. 

In Pulaski County, Director of Elections Bryan Poe expects it to be a little under that.

"In our office, we are estimating between 15 and 18 percent.  That translates to somewhere between 30,000 and 40,000 registered voters, just about in line with previous primary elections, if not a little bit lighter," Poe said.

He also reports fewer people were taking advantage of early voting opportunities compared to previous years.

"We've had 7,044 people early vote through Saturday.  For a comparable period in 2012, we had almost 7,800 people early vote," Poe said.

Polls open Tuesday at 7:30 a.m., with registered voters given 12 hours to cast a ballot before polls close at 7:30 p.m.

With a stay in place for a ruling that struck down the state's voter ID law, Poe said voters will need to bring photo identification.

On Monday, five Republican candidates  vying for a pair of open congressional seats were busy making final pitches to voters.

Banking executive French Hill said Monday he was confident he could win his party's nomination outright for central Arkansas' congressional district, while Rep. Ann Clemmer and retired Army Col. Conrad Reynolds aimed to force him into a runoff.

In south Arkansas' 4th Congressional District, state Rep. Bruce Westerman and energy investor Tommy Moll continued sparring over who has the best record fighting the federal health care law.

In the race for Governor, former Congressman Asa Hutchinson is running aginast Little Rock businessman Curtis Coleman.  On the Democratic side former Congressman Mike Ross is facing a challenge from Lynette Bryant.

You can listen to KUAR's interviews with the candidates by clicking on the links with each name above.

Tuesday's primary features several heated GOP matchups for statewide offices, while Democrats are largely running unopposed.

Voters can learn more about candidates on the Arkansas Secretary of State's website.

Information from the Associated Press was incorporated in this report.