2008 not only is a leap year but it's also an election year.
The first election of 2008 in Arkansas is the Presidential Preferential Primary Election to be held Feb. 5 from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Fulton County Clerk Vickie Bishop said absentee ballots can be picked up now and early voting for the primary begins Jan. 29 at the Fulton County Courthouse.
"Absentee ballots are for homebound people who can't get out to vote or if you're going to be gone from your polling place on the day of the election," Bishop said.
Absentee ballots can be received and sent in by mail.
"We need a written request with the person's signature. They mail that to us here at the clerks office, then we verify that they are registered to vote, find out what precinct they're in, they will have to declare their party for the primary, then we mail out the ballot," she said.
"This is the first time we've had a separate Presidential Preferential Primary Election and the election is occurring earlier than ever before," said Arkansas Secretary of State Charlie Daniels.
Although the last day to register to vote in the Feb. 5 primary has passed, Daniels encourages Arkansans to register now to be ready for the other elections in 2008.
To be eligible to vote in Arkansas, an applicant must be a U.S. citizen residing in Arkansas who will be 18 years of age on or before election day.
Registrants cannot claim the right to vote in another county or state and must also be free of certain restrictions relating to voter competency and felony convictions.
Voters who have changed addresses or names since they last registered to vote may also update their information on the voter registration application, according to Daniels.
Voters may check the status of their registration online at www.voterview.ar-nova.org.
Republican party Candidates on the Feb. 5 Arkansas ballot are:
* Mike Huckabee
* Ron Paul
* Fred Thompson
* Rudy Giuliani
* Mitt Romney
* John McCain
Democratic party Candidates on the Feb. 5 Arkansas ballot are:
* Joe Biden
* Hillary Clinton
* Christopher J. Dodd
* John Edwards
* Mike Gravel
* Dennis Kucinich
* Bill Richardson
* Barack Obama
The Green Party Candidates on the Feb. 5 Arkansas ballot are:
* Jared A. Ball
* Cynthia McKinney
* Kent Mesplay
* Kat Swift
The second election of the year will be held on May 20 for the Preferential Primary Election and Nonpartisan General Election. This election will determine the local Democratic and Republican candidates who will be on the Nov. 4 ballot.
The first day to file for the election is March 3 at the Fulton County Courthouse and the last day for candidates to file will be March 7.
The General Election, which will determine in part who will be the next president of the United States, will be held Nov. 4. The last day to register to vote in the General Election is Oct. 6.