From the quiet hallways of the most beautiful state Capitol in our great nation, this is Senator Keith Ingram.
As political campaigns get into full swing, there are some important deadlines for voters to remember.
The deadline for registering to vote is October 5. If you plan to send in an absentee ballot, you must be registered.
This year, you can request an absentee ballot if you’re concerned about voting in person, because of concerns about spreading Covid-19.
If you do plan to vote in person, make sure you have a valid photo ID, to avoid any questions about your eligibility.
If you have moved residences in the past year, make sure that the address on your photo ID is current, and also make sure that the county clerk has your new address.
It’s more important than ever for everyone to vote. Candidates with extreme ideas are more likely to get elected when voter turnout is low.
We need to increase turnout in another important area – response to the census.
It will only take you about 10 minutes to fill out the census, and your involvement helps determine how billions of dollars in federal funding is spent over the next 10 years.
Do you remember your hair style from 2010? Can you still fit in the same clothes you wore 10 years ago?
An awful lot has changed in the past decade, but one thing is still the same –census results are the foundation for drawing political boundaries. The higher the turnout, the more representation we will get at the Capitol in Little Rock and in Washington, D.C.
A complete census is essential for cities and towns to get their fair share of federal dollars for benefits like health clinics, schools, road repairs and hundreds of other programs.
Preliminary figures indicate that we have a long way to go. In Crittenden County, an estimated 57 percent of the population has responded. In Cross County it’s 55.8 percent and in St. Francis County it’s 44.8 percent.
Only 46 percent of the residents of Lee County have responded so far, and in Phillips County the census has received responses from only 45.9 percent of the population.
Census workers are knocking on doors of homes where nobody has responded yet to the census. But you don’t have to wait for someone to show up at your home.
You can respond today, online or respond by phone. The results are absolutely confidential, and none of the questions require your Social Security number. They don’t ask for your mother’s maiden name or your bank account numbers.
Online you can go to My2020census.gov or you can call 844-330-2020 and complete the census over the phone. That’s 844-330-2020.
Please don’t put it off, because it is tremendously important.
From the Capitol, it is always my greatest honor and most sincere privilege to serve you as your state Senator. This is Senator Keith Ingram.