LITTLE ROCK — By 4 p.m. Monday, 21,094 Arkansans had cast ballots on the first day of early voting for the Nov. 4 general election, according to Secretary of State Mark Martin’s office.

LITTLE ROCK — By 4 p.m. Monday, 21,094 Arkansans had cast ballots on the first day of early voting for the Nov. 4 general election, according to Secretary of State Mark Martin’s office.


The number was slightly lower than the 21,575 who voted on the first day of early voting for the November 2010 election, the last statewide general election without a presidential race on the ballot.


Because of a state Supreme Court ruling last week that struck down Act 595 of 2013, voters are not required to show photo identification at the polls in the general election, unlike the May 20 primary.


The election includes tight, closely watched races between Republican U.S. Rep. Tom Cotton and Democratic U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor for the U.S. Senate and Republican Asa Hutchinson and Democrat Mike Ross for governor.


Republicans need a net gain of six seats to win control of the U.S. Senate and hope to make Pryor’s seat one of them. Arkansas Republicans hope not only to win the state’s top seat but also to win a majority of constitutional offices to become the state’s official majority party.


Early voting is available Monday through Saturday until Election Day. Polls are open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Polls are open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. the day before the election, Monday, Nov. 3.


At the Pulaski County Regional Building in Little Rock on Monday afternoon, there were no lines but voting was steady. Poll workers were asking voters for photo identification but were not preventing them from voting if they did not provide any.


Barbara Bova of Little Rock said she voted for Cotton because "I like him a lot, and I think Mark Pryor’s been there long enough and I don’t think he’s who we need right now." She said she believes Democratic Gov. Mike Beebe has been "a wonderful governor" but voted for Hutchinson to succeed him because "he’s a good guy."


Bova said she regretted that the photo ID requirement was struck down.


"You have to have identification to do everything. Why not vote? That’s the most important thing we do," she said.


Scott Shepard of Little Rock said he voted for Pryor and Ross because "the Republican Party has steered away from a lot of different issues that I’m for."


Shepard said he was glad the photo ID restriction was abolished.


"We never had to provide it before. Why should we now?" he said. "Seniors who have not been able to go out, you know, don’t have driver’s licenses, it would just really be not possible for them and we would lose the voting capacity for those persons who don’t have IDs."