The city of Fort Smith operates under the State of Arkansas City Administrator Form of Government, which requires the city be divided into four (4) wards with no greater than 15% difference in population of each ward.
The governing body consists of the mayor and seven (7) directors. Four (4) directors are elected from each respective ward (Positions 1, 2, 3, and 4), and the mayor and remaining three (3) at-large directors (Positions 5, 6, and 7) are elected citywide. Each elected official serves a four (4) year term with elections held biennially (every other year). Currently, the mayor and at-large director terms expire in December 2022, and the ward director terms expire in December 2024.
As prescribed by law, candidates for the office of director and mayor shall be nominated by filing a petition with the signatures of 50 qualified electors and statement of candidacy with the City Clerk during a 15 day filing period, which is in May of each general election year. Candidates must also pay a $10 filing fee.
Candidates for elected office must be at least 21 years of age; be a resident of the city for at least 6 months; be a registered voter; and, ward directors must reside and be a registered voter of the ward in which he/she is a candidate.
▸ If more than 2 candidates qualify for an office, the names of all such candidates shall appear on the ballot at a primary election, which is held on the second Tuesday in August.
▸ If no more than 2 persons qualify as a candidate, a primary is not held and the names of the 2 candidates for said position shall be placed upon the general election ballot.
▸ In any case in which only 1 candidate shall have filed and qualified for said position, or if a candidate receives a clear majority of the votes cast in a primary election, the said candidate shall be declared elected without the necessity of putting their name on the ballot.
For additional information regarding elections, please contact the City Clerk’s Office at 479-784-2208 or email@example.com.
NOTE: In the spring of each general election year, the City Clerk’s Office will prepare and provide candidate packets containing all necessary forms and information to run for elected office. A media release will be distributed and posted to the City’s website under CITY NEWS when such candidate packets are available for prospective candidates.