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Arizona moves primary election to early August starting in 2020

(AP File Photo)

PHOENIX – Arizona voters will be heading to the polls for next year’s primary earlier than usual, after Gov. Doug Ducey signed legislation Wednesday.

Senate Bill 1154 passed the Senate, 28-2, and a bipartisan House, 39-21.

Republican Sen. David Gowan’s measure will set the date for the first Tuesday in August, three weeks sooner than the election cycle that had been in place.

Some in the House worried about the effects of the change, pointing to longer general election campaigning and the difficulties it would pose for candidates trying to collect enough signatures to get on the ballot.

Supporters said the change would give office seekers more time between the primary and general elections to campaign.

According to a tweet by Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes, the 2020 primary election will be held Aug. 4 as a result of the new law.

The voter registration deadline will be July 6, and early ballots will be mailed out July 8.

“I can definitely say in my district they do not want three more weeks of looking at signs on their roads, they do not want three more weeks of robocalls, they do not want three more weeks of beautiful lovely fliers coming in the mailbox,” Rep. Joanne Osborne (R-Goodyear) said in mid-May.

SB 1154 joins another election-related law recently signed.

Sen. Michelle Ugenti-Rita’s SB 1054 will allow county recorders to start counting mail-in ballots two weeks before Election Day. In the past, they had to wait until the week before voting day.

Voters whose signatures are in question will be contacted by election officials to make corrections to federal ballots. They will have up to five business days after the election to do so.

For other elections, the window is three days afterward.

AZ SB 1154 by on Scribd

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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