VOTE 2023: Early voting underway for Ward 1 City Council special election

(Washington County Courthouse / File photo)

Early voting is underway for the Nov. 14 special City Council election.

The election will decide who will fill the Ward 1 vacancy left after council member Sonia Harvey resigned in June.

Harvey’s term was set to run through Dec. 31, 2026.

The candidates include: David Phillips, a veteran and deputy city attorney in Springdale; Bob Stafford, an artist and small business owner; Katy Sager, a real estate attorney; and S. Robert Smith, a veteran and retired avionics engineer.

Registered voters who live in Ward 1 can cast early votes between 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on weekdays through Nov. 13 at the County Clerk’s Office in the Washington County Courthouse. The courthouse, however, will be closed on Nov. 10 for Veterans Day.

The Washington County Courthouse is located at 280 N. College Avenue in Fayetteville.

A new state law only allows special elections to be held in Arkansas on the second Tuesday of either February, May, August or November in a non-presidential election year, which means Nov. 14 was the first opportunity for a special election dafter Harvey’s resignation over the summer.

Ward 1 encompasses south and southeast Fayetteville, including the areas south of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Huntsville Road. Mount Sequoyah, Happy Hollow Elementary, and Ramay Junior High School are also included in Ward 1.

The nonpartisan positions are decided by voters who live inside a candidate’s ward boundary, meaning only voters in Ward 1 can cast ballots in the special election (see a ward map here).

Election day will be Tuesday, Nov. 14, where polls will be open from 7:30 a.m. until 7:30 p.m. Election day voting centers include Cornerstone Church of Christ (4377 Huntsville Road), Genesis Church (205 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd), and Yvonne Richardson Community Center (240 E. Rock St..).

For more information about the special election, visit