ARIZONA NEWS

Here’s what Arizonans need to know about voting in Tuesday’s general election

Nov 7, 2022, 9:48 AM | Updated: 9:49 am
(Twitter Photo/@MaricopaVote)...
(Twitter Photo/@MaricopaVote)
(Twitter Photo/@MaricopaVote)

PHOENIX – After what seems like an endless campaign season, it’s finally election week in Arizona and across the nation.

Early voting started Oct. 12, which was the day after the deadline to register and be eligible to vote in Tuesday’s general election.

Elections in Arizona are run at the county level based on statewide regulations. Details specific to each county, such as voting locations, can be found through local election departments. Contact information for each county is available through the Arizona Secretary of State’s Office.

Here’s what you need to know about Election Day in Maricopa County, home to more than 60% of the state’s population.

Where and when can I vote?

Maricopa County is operating more than 120 vote centers from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday and more than 220 from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Election Day. There are no precincts, meaning registered voters can cast their ballot at any vote center. You can search for a convenient vote center or official drop box location at Locations.Maricopa.Vote.

The site shows wait times, too.

Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer said the polls will be busiest on Election Day from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

“If anyone wants to figure out a way around the lines, … go to that website and maybe try some hours that are a little unconventional,” he told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Arizona’s Morning News on Monday.

Anybody in line by 7 p.m. will have the chance to vote.

How can I vote?

It’s too late to put an early ballot in the mail. But if you have one and don’t want to fill out the lengthy ballot in-person on Election Day, you can drop off your completed early ballot in its signed and sealed green envelope at any vote center or official drop box until 7 p.m. Tuesday.

If you prefer to fill out your ballot in person, you can do so at any vote center during Monday-Tuesday hours. Poll workers will confirm eligibility and print out a paper ballot that contains the races attached to your address.

After voters fill out their ballots with a pen, they feed them into onsite tabulation machines.

Do I need to show identification?

No ID is needed to drop off a completed early ballot. But in-person voters need to show documentation that fulfills one of the following requirements:

1. ONE unexpired photo ID with name and and address matching elections records from this list:

  • Arizona driver license.
  • Arizona nonoperating identification license.
  • Tribal enrollment card or other form of tribal identification.
  • Federal, state or local government-issued identification.

2. TWO items from the following list of nonphoto documentation:

  • Utility bill in voter’s name dated within 90 days of the election.
  • Bank or credit union statement dated within 90 days of the election.
  • Valid Arizona vehicle registration.
  • Indian census card.
  • Property tax statement.
  • Tribal enrollment card or other form of tribal identification.
  • Vehicle insurance card.
  • Federal, state or local government-issued identification.
  • Voter registration card/recorder’s certification.
  • Any “official election material” mailing that has your name and address.

3. ONE of the following combinations:

  • A valid picture ID from List 1 above with an address that doesn’t match registration records AND one document from List 2 with an address that does match registration records.
  • U.S. passport AND one item from List 2.
  • U.S. military ID card AND one item from List 2.

In-person voters without proper identification will be given a provisional ballot and may have to follow up with sufficient ID before the vote will be tabulated. More information about provisional ballots, including how to check the status if you have to cast one, is available on the county elections website.

When will I know who won?

It depends how close the race is. Some contests will be pretty much decided based on the first batch of returns, but others could linger for days until enough votes are tabulated to determine a winner.

And with Arizona increasing the margin for triggering an automatic recount to .5% of the of votes cast for both candidates (it was previously .1%), the state could see an increase in recounts and thus lengthier waits for final tabulations.

Media outlets make calls based on what’s been reported and how their analysts think the remaining votes will break. While almost always accurate, there is nothing official about any media outlet’s call.

A majority of Arizona voters use early voting, so a lot of the ballots will already be counted by the time the polls close at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

The county’s first results will be posted at 8 p.m. That batch will include most of the early votes submitted by Saturday.

Richer explained the tabulation and reporting process in a Twitter thread last week.

Once the polls are closed, memory cards will be removed from vote center tabulators and taken to the county election department to be loaded into the main server. Those results will be released throughout the night as they are compiled.

During the August primary, more than 80% of the Maricopa County’s total had been counted and reported by early Wednesday, Richer said.

In the following days, “late early” ballots that weren’t received in time to be counted before Election Day will be scanned and signature-verified before being fed into tabulators.

Voters have five days from Election Day to “cure” early ballots when trained election workers determine that a signature on the envelope doesn’t match what they have on file. Signature verification is conducted by teams with members from both parties.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

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Here’s what Arizonans need to know about voting in Tuesday’s general election