How Arizona voters can cut through the political noise this election season

Mar 1, 2024, 4:35 AM

How Arizona voters can cut through the political noise this election season...

It's not easy to cut through the cacophony of political noise from both sides. (File photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

(File photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

PHOENIX — Early voting ballots for Arizona’s presidential preference election went out to registered Democrats and Republicans last week. As the 2024 election season officially kicks off, voters can expect an onslaught of political noise via ads, signs and rallies.

It can be hard to get a clear picture of political issues with so many distractions, according to Secretary of State Adrian Fontes.

“It can be overwhelming,” Fontes said during a Tuesday mock election event in Phoenix. “But there are certain sources of information where folks can go at their own pace, look things over, carefully make their decisions and determinations.”

He spoke during a meeting from Vote the Spectrum, an initiative led by First Place AZ, which encourages adults with autism and other disabilities to vote. An audience member had asked him for tips on how to handle the barrage of political information.

Tips for Arizona voters who want to cut through political noise in 2024

Fontes’ office has a long FAQ with answers about elections, such as how to track ballot status and how to get replacement ballots.

He also recommended the Clean Elections Commission, which has various tools first-time and experienced voters can use to understand their ballots. Its website explains how elections work and describes propositions that will be on the ballot in detail.

Those who want their information on paper instead of onscreen are also in luck, Fontes said.

“Before every election, voters will get some information in the mail sometimes from the Clean Elections Commission. They send it out per household,” he said. “Sometimes school districts will send out mailers describing bonds and and override information these clear-cut statements pros and cons or in writing.”

He also recommended voters to check out the Commission on Judicial Performance Review. This website provides clear-cut information on judges whose names are on the ballot.

Voters have the power to pick which judges keep their jobs, and the commission’s judicial reports is an official, trusted source, Fontes said.

Arizona is a ‘very pro-voter’ state, Fontes says

Although the deluge of political noise can be staggering, Fontes encouraged voters to remember that Arizona election officials are on their sides.

“One of the great things about Arizona that folks really don’t realize is that we’re a very, very pro-voter state,” he said. “It’s really easy to vote here as compared to many other states in the union.”

For instance, a lot of states don’t have online voter registration like Arizona’s unique URL program, he said.

Many other states also don’t have no-excuse absentee voting, a ballot tracking system or a “very heavy vote-by-mail culture,” he added.

“We do pretty darn well here in Arizona,” Fontes said.

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How Arizona voters can cut through the political noise this election season