Election day is just around the corner, and Arizona is in the midst of a voter turnout crisis. In the 2016 general elections, only 55 percent of eligible voters cast a ballot. This means that non-voters had nearly as much of an impact on the election results as voters did.
Did you know that many folks in Arizona aren’t registered Democrats or Republicans? There are almost as many Independents as there are Republicans, but 4 in 10 Independents didn’t vote in 2016, compared to 21.6 percent of Democrats and 15.8 percent of Republicans.
Many Arizona cities will hold their own elections in August that will coincide with statewide primary races. Voters must decide whether they want a Republican or Democratic ballot to vote in the partisan state races. Independent voters who sign up for early voting do not automatically get primary ballots sent to them like Republicans or Democrats. It is their onus to request a ballot.
Independent votes are then faced with a choice: they must either select a party’s ballot or request a nonpartisan ballot that includes only local races. Even though election officials are still strategizing on a solution for this dilemma, Independent voters can still vote in the August 28th Primary Elections.
To vote early, call your County Recorder’s office to request an early ballot and choose a Republican or Democrat ballot. Keep in mind that selecting one of these will not change your party affiliation. The deadline to request mail-in ballot for the August 28 primary election is August 17th. Complete the request, sign the envelope, then mail it to the Recorder’s office. For the general election, the deadline is October 10th.
You may also vote at any voting center on Election Day, and you will be issued a partisan ballot of your choosing.
There are many opportunities for Independents to vote in the primary and general elections. Make a plan for Election Day and cast your vote. Your vote is your voice, and it counts.