February 1, 2016 | Posted in Arkansas Voter's Guide | By

Today is the deadline to register to vote in the March 1 primary elections. Primary elections get a lot of attention during years like this one, when presidential candidates appear on the ballot, but the purpose–and importance–of these elections is often overlooked.

In a nutshell, primary elections narrow the field of candidates; oftentimes, more than one Democratic candidate or more than one Republican candidate will file to run for a particular office. For example, right now there are three Republican candidates running for State House District 90, and there are two Democratic candidates running for State House District 30. Primary elections are important, because they help narrow the list of candidates down so that no more than one candidate from a particular party appears on the ballot at the General Election in November.

In Arkansas, the primary elections are also important, because judicial candidates are on the ballot. The March 1 primary elections provide an opportunity for Arkansans to vote for candidates for Arkansas Supreme Court and so on.

If you or a member of your family is not already registered to vote, today is the deadline to register in order to vote in the primaries next month.

You can find out more about how to register to vote by going to the Arkansas Secretary of State’s website.

After you register, don’t forget to head out to the polls on Tuesday, March 1, to vote in the primaries. If you want to know more about where the candidates stand on important issues like abortion, education, marriage, taxes, and so forth, you can go to www.ArkansasVotersGuide.com. From there you can view the candidates for federal, state, and judicial offices, and you can order printed copies of the Arkansas Voter’s Guide to give to friends and family members or pass out at church.

Jerry is the founder and president of Family Council. He began Family Council in 1989 after a successful effort to amend the Arkansas Constitution to prevent the use of public funds for abortions. He and his wife reside in Little Rock. They have four sons.