Can Felons Vote in Arkansas?

A U.S citizen residing in Arkansas who is 18 years or older is eligible to vote, with some exceptions. You cannot vote in Arkansas if you are convicted of a felony while still incarcerated, on probation or parole, and have outstanding fines.

I am convicted of a crime. Can I still vote?

It depends. You can still vote if you are convicted of a misdemeanor. Even if you’re in jail, you may register to vote by absentee ballot.

However, if you are convicted of a felony and have not completed serving your sentence (whether still incarcerated, on probation, or on parole) and paid all fines, then you may not vote in Arkansas.

You can have your right to vote restored when you have completed serving your sentence and paid all fines relating to the felony.

Who oversees how Arkansas voting laws are implemented?

The Arkansas Secretary of State determines voting eligibility rights in Arkansas.

Act 633 of 2017 requires voters to verify their voter registration. They can do so by providing a driver’s license, U.S. passport, or government-issued photo ID (for example, a public assistance ID card).

How can I get my voting rights restored?

The right to vote in an election is a fundamental civil right and civic duty of all U.S. citizens, even those convicted of a crime. That is why it is important that those who lose the right to vote also know how to get it restored.

In Arkansas, you can get your right to vote restored by showing proof that you have completed your sentence and paid all fines to your local county clerk. Once you have done this, you may register to vote. 

For step-by-step information on how a convicted felon can register to vote, see the Arkansas Constitution, Amendment 51, Section 11.

Can I get an expungement to restore my voting rights?

An expungement of record in Arkansas seals a conviction and treats an offense as if it never happened. Thus, convicted felons can seek to expunge their record to get the right to vote restored. 

However, there are certain felony crimes that cannot be expunged. Some of these include:

  • Sex offenses involving minor victims younger than 18 years old
  • Violent crimes
  • Offenses that result in more than 10 years of incarceration

Talk to a Civil Rights Attorney If Your Voting Rights Are Violated

Being convicted of a crime does not eliminate your voice as a U.S. citizen. While a felony record may temporarily hinder you from participating in certain civic activities such as voting, you may have the chance to regain these rights.

To ensure your voting rights are protected, and to understand the process of regaining your right to vote, consult an Arkansas civil rights attorney.