From the historic hallways of the most beautiful state Capitol in our great nation, this is Senator Keith Ingram.
Early voting has begun for this year's primaries. Election day is Tuesday, March 3.
Many voters in Phillips and St. Francis Counties will notice that there are new voting machines in their precincts.
They are two of the 10 Arkansas counties that have new voting equipment this year.
Poll workers have been trained to use the new machines. However, some voters may not feel comfortable using the new equipment for the first time, so please be patient if someone ahead of you is taking more time than usual.
Under state law, early voting is available from 8 in the morning to 6 in the afternoon, from Monday through Friday, and from 10 to 4 on Saturday.
In 2016, the last time we had a presidential primary in Arkansas, voter turnout was 38 percent. Based on the record of past years, turnout for the general election in November should be about 65 percent.
We can do better, so I'm urging everyone to be sure to vote. Encourage people to get out and vote, not just friends and family but acquaintances and total strangers even.
Voting is a right and a privilege of living in a free society, and it is also a civic duty.
It's no coincidence that when voter turnout gets low, so does the quality of the candidates. Special interests love it when turnout is low, because they can influence elections more easily when people stay home.
So please make it a point to go to the polls, and when you go to vote, take someone along with you.
From the Capitol, it is always my great honor and sincere privilege to serve you as your state Senator. This is Keith Ingram.