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Official: Early voters in Arizona special election should mail in ballots this week

(AP Photo/Ryan Van Velzer)

PHOENIX — For those planning to mail in an early ballot for the May special election in Arizona, now is the time to do so.

Elizabeth Bartholomew of the Maricopa County Recorder’s Office said voters who are planning to participate in the special election on May 17 should mail in their ballots nearly a week ahead of the election.

“We usually recommend mailing your ballots back no later than the Wednesday before, so that will be this upcoming Wednesday, on the 11th.” she said.

Bartholomew said voters should act quickly in order for their vote to count on the day of the actual election.

“We just want to make that the voters get their ballots back to us,” she said. “You never know what’s happening with the post office. We have to have that ballot back in our office by 7 p.m. on election day.”

The special election will allow voters to cast their ballots on two propositions: Proposition 123, which deals with education funding, and Proposition 124, which will regard pension deals for first responders.

Voters can also vote early and in person at three locations across the Valley until Friday. The actual election will take place next Tuesday.

Amid problems with voting in the presidential preference election in March, Maricopa County is expected to open 116 voting locations in order to cut wait times. The March election only had just 60 locations open, sparking statewide outrage and a federal investigation.

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey said in April that he does not expect to see the same problems with the May election as state officials saw back in March.

Just days ahead of the election, however, problems have already begun arising: Arizona Secretary of State Michele Reagan’s office failed to send out publicity pamphlets for the special election to more than 200,000 households, sparking attorneys to move to reset the election.

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