The final tally of Sebastian County voters in the 18-34 age demographic in the 2018 early voting cycle was 10.2% of total voters, up from 7.78% on Nov. 1. Early voting ended Monday (Nov. 5), with election day held Nov. 6.
Early voters in the 35-54 age group accounted for 25.2% of the vote, and early voters in the 55 and up group were 64.5% of the vote.
Sebastian County early voting ended with 17,629 votes cast, up 36.2% compared with the early voting cycle in the comparable 2014 mid-term election cycle, according to numbers provided by the Sebastian County Clerk’s office. The early voting tally is also 55% of the total votes cast in the 2014 general election.
In the 2014 mid-term, the county reported 73,964 registered voters, with 32,029 votes cast, or 43.3% of the registered total. The number of registered voters in the county at the beginning of early voting in 2018 was 71,080, according to the Sebastian County Clerk’s office. That tally is 3.89%, or 2,884 voters, below the number of registered voters in 2014.
Of the 2018 early voting turnout, 4,265 votes – or 24.2% – were from the clerk’s downtown Greenwood polling location as of a few hours before early voting ended. A contested mayoral and a city council race in the city are likely what pushed early voting numbers higher in the south Sebastian County city. Greenwood Mayor Doug Kinslow is being challenged by Jerry Carter. Ward 3 Position 1 Councilman A.C. Brown Jr., is being challenged by Joshua Niles.
It was the first time, according to Sebastian County Election Commissioner Lee Webb, that the Greenwood location had more voters than the clerk’s polling site in downtown Fort Smith at the Sebastian County Courthouse.
In addition to races for all seven of Arkansas’ Constitutional officers, and three ballot items, there are a few local races possibly driving higher voter turnout. There are several contested Sebastian County races, and in Fort Smith, Robyn Dawson and Sam Price are hoping to win the Fort Smith City Director Position 5 race. The Arkansas House District 77 race pits incumbent Rep. Justin Boyd, R-Fort Smith, against Libertarian candidate Stephen Edwards and Democratic candidate Luke Pruitt.