ARIZONA NEWS

Maricopa County gives voters mail-in ballot option ahead of primaries

Jun 2, 2020, 4:45 AM | Updated: 6:50 am

(AP Photo/Tony Dejak)...

(AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

(AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

PHOENIX – Maricopa County is giving voters plenty of options ahead of the August primary, including the option to cast their ballots by mail.

The Elections Department opened an online portal on Monday at Request.Maricopa.Vote that allows voters to request a one-time ballot by mail as residents deal with restrictions brought on by the coronavirus outbreak.

Residents can also sign up for the permanent early voting list online, an option that was previously available mainly to new voters as they registered for the first time.

“The new online portal is another opportunity for voters to make the choice to vote by mail at home,” Megan Gilbertson with the Elections Department told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Monday.

Residents who would rather vote in person can still exercise that option, but they’ll see heightened safety measures at the polls when they get there.

“Some of the protocols include requiring poll workers to wear face masks,” Gilbertson said.

She added that enhanced sanitation practices would be utilized at all facilities.

The voting centers are being expanded as well to allow for physical distancing between people when they show up.

There is also going to be an increased window to vote in person – possibly as large as 10 to 14 days – to spread out crowds and give people a better chance to fit it in around the rest of their schedule.

She said this is all being done to provide residents with as many options as possible so the pandemic doesn’t discourage them from casting their vote.

There could be an historic turnout for this election, and the county says it’s prepared for more than 700,000 voters to cast a ballot.

“The August Primary Election is likely to be the largest, most significant in-person event since Gov. Doug Ducey instituted stay at home orders,” Maricopa County Director of Election Day and Emergency Voting Scott Jarrett said in a press release.

“Given the impact of COVID-19, it is critical that Maricopa County provide voters with a safe and secure Primary Election.”

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Maricopa County gives voters mail-in ballot option ahead of primaries