October 26, 2020
Opinion Number: 2020-025 Requestor: Garner, Denise The Honorable
Representative Garner asks about the proper interpretation of the term “illness” under Ark. Code Ann. Sec. 7-5-402 and about potential remedies to address or prevent any confusion as to that term’s meaning, including an executive order by the Governor or an act of the General Assembly to clarify the statute. RESPONSE: Following the submission of this opinion request, Governor Asa Hutchinson issued an executive order stating, “Qualified electors, who conclude their attendance at the polls may be a risk to their health or the health of others due to the COVID-19 pandemic or otherwise conclude they will be unable to vote in person on the day of the election due to illness or physical disability are therefore unavoidably absent from the polls, and may request and submit an absentee ballot pursuant to Arkansas Code Annotated Sec. 7-5-402.” As a result, these questions have been rendered moot.
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