Early voting technically started Tuesday in the special election for the state Senate District 16 race even though there’s only one candidate on the ballot, but a proposed constitutional amendment on the 2016 ballot could negate the need for further such elections. Former Sen. Michael Lamoureux resigned late last year to become Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s chief of staff, which left the seat vacant. Then-Gov. Mike Beebe declared a special election to be held Tuesday, April 14, with one week of early voting to precede it. Greg Standridge defeated Stan Berry in the Republican Primary runoff election in February. No other party or Independent candidates filed for the seat, leaving Standridge unopposed in the April election in the district covering Newton and Pope counties and parts of Boone, Carroll and Van Buren counties.
Jason Kline with the Secretary of State’s office said that unless the state Legislature took up the issue in this session, Arkansas law requires a General Election of some kind.
Kline said the election commission in each county can opt to hold only early and absentee voting, or to only open one polling place on Election Day, which could be at the respective courthouses.