One week in, early voting seeing big turnouts in region

Both Hempstead and Nevada counties following state trends

By Rick Kennedy, managing editor
Following trends happening in both the state and the nation, both Hempstead and Nevada counties were seeing heavy voter traffic after exactly one week of early voting Monday.
As of this Monday, Oct. 29, Hempstead County reported a total of 802 early ballots dating back to last Monday, Oct. 22. Nevada County reported 440 early votes over the same time period.
In an unusual election cycle, both Hempstead County and Nevada County have the rare occasion to be having high profile County Judge races, both at the same time during the same year.
In Hempstead County, Republican Jerry Crane and Democrat Allen Flowers are seeking to succeed incumbent Haskell Morse, who was defeated in the May 22 primary. In Nevada County, Democratic incumbent Mark Glass is being challenged by Republican Mike Otwell.
Back in 2016 election cycle, the two-week early voting period in Hempstead County saw a then-record 1,845 votes cast as of Nov. 2 that year in a Presidential election.
Elsewhere in Arkansas, major population centers in places like Benton and Washington counties were also seeing heavy voter activity after the first week. Early voting counts showed Benton County with 19,754 voters, while Washington County had 14,029, according to election officials in those respective counties.
On Friday, as the first week of early voting ended, the Arkansas Secretary of State’s office issued a statement saying 132,586 early votes had been cast throughout the state in 2018.
For comparison, the Secretary of State’s office also said that 101,012 ballots were cast over a similar time period in 2014, which was the last mid-term elections four years ago.

Poll worker Ronny Phillips (center) waves in a voter to the machine on Monday. (Rick Kennedy photo)

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