Time to vote: Arizona polls open until 7 p.m.

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by Catherine Holland

Video report by Javier Soto

Posted on November 6, 2012 at 6:32 AM

Updated Wednesday, Nov 7 at 1:11 AM

Poll:
Have you voted?

PHOENIX -- It all comes down to today. After months of campaigning, the polls are open and it's time for Arizona voters to make their voices heard.

Polling places throughout the state opened their doors at 6 a.m. sharp and will remain open until 7 p.m. As long as you are in line by 7 p.m., you will be able to cast your ballot. If you have an early ballot, you can drop if off at any polling place in the county, but it has to be there by 7 p.m.

About 1.1 million early ballots were sent out; 770,000 have already been returned.

"There is a potential for over 900,000 early ballots to be cast in the November General Election," wrote Yvonne A. Reed, the director of communications for the Maricopa County Elections Department, in an email to media outlets when the ballots were sent out on Oct. 11.

3TV's Javier Soto said between 15 and 20 people were lined up, waiting for the polling place near Seventh and Glendale avenues to open. That is somewhat unusual.

Although this is a presidential election, officials do not expect a glut of voters.

"Our last presidential election was about 79 percent," Maricopa County Recorder Helen Purcell said minutes after the polls opened. "I'm anticipating a little less than that. I don't see as much energy in this one as I have seen in the past. So, we're going down just a little bit, not a great deal."

Maricopa County has more than 1.9 million registered voters in 724 precincts.

Because some of the races are extremely close, final numbers might not be available for a couple of days. According to Arizona election laws (ARS 16-642), the county has up to 20 days after Election Day to finalize the results.

"It is always the Election Departments goal to effectively and efficiently process all ballots so that we can finalize the results as quickly as possible," reads the Maricopa County Recorder's website. "This has to be done, however, without sacrificing quality and accuracy for speed."

The ballot for this election is a long one, with not only the presidency on the line, but also a high-stakes Senate race, a run for the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office, nine propositions, retention of judges and various local or regional matters.

If you need to find your polling place, click here or go the Maricopa County Recorder's website.

Be sure you have a valid ID with you when you go to vote.

Peak voting times are expected to be before and after work for most people -- 6 a.m.-9 a.m. and 4 p.m.-7 p.m.

If you have any questions about today's election, call the Arizona Secretary of State Election Services Division at 1-877-THE-VOTE (1-877-843-8683) or 602-542-8683.

Acceptable identification to vote

List 1: Photo identification with name and address (1 required)

  • Valid Arizona driver license
  • Valid Arizona non-operating identification license
  • Tribal enrollment card or other form of tribal identification
  • Valid United States federal, state, or local government issued identification

If the address on the ID does NOT match the address in the Signature Roster, the voter must vote a regular provisional ballot and does NOT have to return

List 2: Non-photo identification - name and address only (2 required)

  • Utility bill of the elector that is dated within ninety days of the date of the election. A utility bill may be for electric, gas, water, solid waste, sewer, telephone, cellular phone, or cable television
  • Bank or credit union statement that is dated within ninety days of the date of the election
  • Valid Arizona Vehicle Registration
  • Indian census card
  • Property tax statement of the elector's residence
  • Tribal enrollment card or other form of tribal identification
  • Vehicle insurance card
  • Recorder's Certificate or Voter Registration Card
  • Valid United States federal, state, or local government issued identification
  • Any “Official Election Material” mailing bearing the voter’s name and address

If the address on the ID does NOT match the address in the Signature Roster, the voter must vote a regular provisional ballot and does NOT have to return.

List 3: Mix and Match from Lists #1 and #2

  • Any Valid Picture ID from List #1 with an address that does NOT match the Precinct Register WITH a non-photo ID from List #2 with an address that DOES match the Precinct Register.
  • U.S. PASSPORT and one item from List #2
  • U.S. MILITARY ID and one item from List #2

 Source: Maricopa County Recorder's Office

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