PHOENIX — The general election is seemingly forever away. After all, there’s more than a month until Nov. 8. A lot has to happen between now and then — errands, chores, Halloween — so you have plenty of time to register to vote, right?
The deadline to register to vote in the general election in Arizona is Oct. 10, also known as Monday.
Despite Monday being Columbus Day — a federally-recognized holiday and therefore a day off of work for some — Arizona Secretary of State Michele Reagan said a majority of counties in the state will be open for business.
“Thirteen out of 15 counties have already said they’re going to be open for all voters on that holiday,” Reagan said, adding that Maricopa County is included on that list.
To answer your questions about voting registration, we’ve put together the story below. We divided it into several categories to make it easier to digest.
How do I register to vote?
There are only a few requirements to be eligible to vote in Arizona: You must be a United States citizen, you must be a resident of Arizona or the county listed on your registration and you must be at least 18 years old by Nov. 8.
So let’s say you’ve met the requirements and are ready to register. How do you go about it?
Reagan’s office lists several ways to complete your voter registration:
- By mail (either print and return this form or request one from the country recorder)
- In person at the county recorder’s office
“The quickest and generally the safest (way) is to register to vote online,” Reagan said.
Those who participate in the Address Confidentiality Program should register through that program’s process.
After you register to vote, you should expect to receive your registration card in the mail in about four to six weeks.
If you don’t meet the requirements above, or you have been convicted of a felony and have not had your civil rights restored or you’ve been adjudicated incompetent, you cannot vote in Arizona. Simple as that.
People can register to vote in the federal election without proving they are a citizen, but are required to swear they are.
What if I’m registered, but something has changed?
Basically, your options are the same as listed above. You’re required to update your voting information if you moved, your name has legally been changed or you want to change your party affiliation.
If you need to change your registration, the same Oct. 10 deadline applies.
So how do I go about this whole voting thing?
There are two ways to vote in Arizona: By mail and in person.
If you’re planning to vote by mail, you have to select that option when registering to vote. If you’re already registered, you have until Oct. 28 to request a mail-in ballot.
Voting with a mail-in ballot is simple: Mark the form per the instructions included with the ballot, put it in the return envelope, sign and date it and drop it in the mailbox.
If for some reason you couldn’t get it in the mail, your mail-in ballot can be returned to your local polling place.
If you want to vote in person, early voting begins Oct. 12 at certain locations and will run until 5 p.m. on Nov. 4. Polls hours vary and are typically closed on weekends.
You are required to vote at your assigned polling place, so don’t just swing by one on the way to the office. If you do go to a polling place where you are not on the roster, you’ll be given a provisional ballot.
If you do plan to vote at a polling place, you will need to bring a form of identification. Here are your options:
- Valid Arizona driver license
- Valid Arizona non-operating identification card
- Tribal enrollment card or other form of tribal identification
- Valid United States federal, state, or local government issued identification
List Two (ID without photo that shows name and address, two pieces required)
- Utility bill of the elector that is dated within 90 days of the date of the election. A utility bill may be for electric, gas, water, solid waste, sewer, telephone, cellular phone, or cable television
- Bank or credit union statement that is dated within 90 days of the date of the election
- Valid Arizona Vehicle Registration
- Indian census card
- Property tax statement of the elector’s residence
- Tribal enrollment card or other form of tribal identification Arizona vehicle insurance card
- Recorder’s Certificate
- Valid United States federal, state, or local government issued identification, including a voter registration card issued by the County Recorder
- Any mailing to the elector marked “Official Election Material”
List Three (mix and match of lists One and Two)
- Any valid photo identification from List One in which the address does not reasonably match the precinct register accompanied by a non-photo identification from List Two in which the address does reasonably match the precinct register
- U.S. Passport without address and one valid item from List Two
- U.S. Military identification without address and one valid item from List Two
If you don’t have proper identification, you will be given a provisional ballot. Your ballot will be counted if you bring proper identification to your polling place by 7 p.m. the same day or within five business days of the general election at the county recorder’s office.
KTAR’s Sharon Mittelman contributed to this report.
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