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44 University of Arkansas at Little Rock Law Review 213 (2021)


The highly contagious COVID-19 pandemic, combined with over fifty lawsuits brought by former President Donald Trump, made the general election of 2020 one of the most controversial in the history of the United States. Accusations of voter disenfranchisement proliferated across the nation and were initiated by members of both sides of the political spectrum, even before Election Day. Arkansas was no exception to this rule. In 2020, multiple Arkansas lawsuits highlighted the weaknesses of the state’s voter infrastructure, particularly with regard to the absentee ballot process. Voting-by-mail was particularly important in the pandemic year when long lines became a public health danger, and Arkansans requested absentee ballots at a rate that was three times more than the prior general election. Perhaps it should be no surprise that voter participation in Arkansas was at an all-time low of 55.5%, placing it at 50th in the nation for election turnout. This Article explores 1) the voter suppression features of the Arkansas election infrastructure, and 2) more inclusive methods of voting—such as universal mail-in ballots and internet-based voting—which could be adopted in Arkansas.

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