Frequently Asked Questions on Election DayPosted: Updated:
The following Frequently Asked Questions are from the Maricopa County Elections Department.
1.Who can register?
- A citizen of the United States of America.
- A resident of Arizona.
- An individual who is 18 Years of age or older before the next Statewide General Election.
- An individual who has not been convicted of a felony or treason, if so, your civil rights have been restored.
- An individual who has not been adjudicated incompetent (A.R.S. § 14-5101)
2. When is a person registered?
- When the voter registration form is received or delivered to the Elections Department at least 29 days before the Election and all of the qualifications are meet and verified. Save the copy of the receipt of the registration form.
3. How do you register to vote?
- By filling out the voter registration form, answering all questions.
- By providing satisfactory evidence of United States Citizenship on the form or accompanied with the form.
- By signing and dating the form.
- By mailing in the form of registration to the County Elections office.
- By completing the registration form at the County Elections office.
- By completing the form online if you have a qualifying MVD record.
You can click here to visit our online voter registration page to get more detailed information on registering to vote.
4. When must you send in a new registration form?
- When a voter has moved from one residence to another
- When a voter changes their name.
- When a voter needs to update their political party affiliation.
- When an updated signature is needed
5. Where can I get a registration form?
- You can register to vote or update your existing registration online at www.servicearizona.com using the "Voter Registration" link at that site if you have a "Qualifying MVD record". To have a "Qualifying MVD record" you must possess a valid Arizona Driver License, Identification Card or other record with a digitized signature on file with MVD.
- You can click here to visit our voter registration page to download the form.
- Pick up a form at the Maricopa County Elections office, click here for locations.
- Pick up a form at a City or Town Clerks office.
- Pick up a form at the U.S. Post Offices.
- Pick up a form at libraries throughout Maricopa County
- Pick up a form at various banks
- Pick up a form at various supermarkets
- A registration form can be mailed to you by calling 602-506-1511 or for the hearing impaired at 602-506-2348 (TDD).
6. When are the elections?
All regular elections are held either in March, May, August/September** or November. The regular countywide Primary and General Elections that contain Federal, State and County Offices are held in August/September** and November of the even numbered years (example, 2010, 2012, and so on). Once an election is called (120 days prior to one of the 4 possible election dates noted above), we will post that information on our "Elections Calendar" page. There is a special Presidential Preference Election (PPE) that is normally held in February in the year that the President of the United States is elected. This Presidential Preference Election is solely for voters registered within a specific political party to specify their preference for a candidate of their political party for the Office of President.
**The November General Election date always falls on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November. The August/September Primary Election date is then derived by counting back 10 weeks (10 Tuesdays) from this November Election date. Because of this, there will be years when the Primary Election will be held in August instead of September. As an example, the Countywide Primary Election of 2010 will be held on August 24, 2010.
7. How do I know where to vote?
The polling place information for a given election is always indicated on the shipping label on the sample ballot that will be sent at least 10 days before the election. In addition, if there are issues appearing on your ballot, then a Publicity or Informational Pamphlet may instead be mailed to you as early as 35 days prior to a given election. This Pamphlet will also contain your polling place information on the shipping label.
For a list of elections currently being conducted, you can visit our "Elections Calendar" page. If there is a current election being conducted that you qualify to participate in, you can also locate your polling place by visiting our "Polling Place Locator & Sample Ballots" button on our main "Election's Homepage". You will need to provide your current residence address information. You may also contact our call center at 602-506-1511 for assistance in locating your polling place.
8. During what hours are the polls open?
On Election Day, all polls open at 6:00 am and close at 7:00 p.m.
9. I have registered as in independent. Can I vote in a Primary Election?
Yes, currently Arizona is an "Open Primary" state. Independents may vote for candidates of recognized parties in a Primary Election. The only exception to this is the "Presidential Preference Election" (PPE) that is normally held in February in the year that the President of the United States is elected. This PPE election is solely for voters registered within a specific political party to specify their preference for a candidate of their political party for the Office of President.
10. I lost my voter identification card. How can I get another?
In person at one of our office locations or by contacting us at 602-506-1511 to have one mailed to you. Mailed voter ID cards are printed on a bi-weekly schedule and those should be received within 2 to 4 weeks of requesting.
11. My voter registration card says my party is PND. What is this?
PND stands for "Party Not Designated". This means that when you first registered to vote, there was no designation on your form of a political party affiliation or the field was left blank, so it was marked PND (Party Not Designated).
12. How do you vote early?
13. Where can I find information on the ballot issues?
If the ballot issue or issues are for a City, Town or School District, then links to the various jurisdictional websites can be found on our "Elections Calendar" page. Within these jurisdictional websites, detailed information should be provided regarding the ballot issues being offered. If the ballot issue or issues are for a Statewide measure (example: Propositions), detailed information regarding those can be found on the Arizona Secretary of State's Office website at www.azsos.gov. In addition, a Publicity Pamphlet or Informational Pamphlet will be mailed, prior to the election, to each voter or, depending on the type of election being conducted, to each household containing a registered voter. The mailing label on the back of the pamphlet will identify your polling place location. The pamphlet will also contain any pro/con arguments filed on a given issue or issues, if applicable.
14. What forms of identification are required in order to vote at the polls on Election Day?
Information on ID at the polls and the forms of identification required by Proposition 200, which was passed by Arizona voters in 2004, can be accessed by visiting our "ID? I Do! Do You?" button on the bottom right hand side of our main "Election's Homepage". On this page, clicking on the "New Voting Requirements" link will open up a list of acceptable forms of identification for the polls.
15. How do I report a problem at my polling location on Election Day?
Report any problems at your polling location to the Maricopa County Elections Department by calling 602-506-1511 or online through our online "Voter Assistance Survey".
The online survey can be found by visiting our main "Election's Homepage" and mouse over the "Elections" tab at the top of this page to enable the drop down list of available links. Then again mouse over the "Voter Assistant Information" link to view the additional group of specific assistance page links. In this group the "Voter Assistance Survey" link can be selected.
Clicking on the "Voter Assistance Survey" link will open up our online submission form that can be completed and instantly sent directly to us to report a polling place problem. We will review the submission, take action on it immediately and contact you back, if requested or required.
16. Why does my polling place keep changing?
Every effort will be expended to ensure that voting is as convenient as possible for all voters of Maricopa County. Due to the fact that all polling place locations are facilities that voluntarily provide us access to the use of their building, the possibility exists that previously used polling place sites may not be available for a given election if the facility does not allow us to use their building for that given election. We ask voters to carefully check their Sample Ballots and/or Publicity Pamphlet mailings for their polling place location.
It is possible that an emergency could occur at a given polling place that could prevent the use of that particular facility (example: fire, damage, etc.) even after the Sample Ballots and/or Publicity Pamphlet mailings have gone out. If this is ever the case, an additional "Polling Place Change" postcard notice, that indicates the new location, will be sent as quickly as possible to all affected households that contain a registered voter. In addition, signs will be posted at the former polling place location to inform voters of the change and to provide them with the new location information.
To verify the polling place location for your area, click on the "Polling Place Locator & Sample Ballots" button on our main "Election's Homepage". You will need to provide your current residence address information. You may also call contact our call center at 602-506-1511 for assistance in verifying your polling place location.
17. How can I find out the Election Day results?
Early (Unofficial) Election results will provided on Maricopa County's website beginning at 8:00 p.m. on Election Day. The main "Election's Homepage" will display a "View Election Results" link. These results will be updated periodically as new totals come in or as we complete the processing of early ballots and/or provisional ballots that were dropped off on election night.
18. When do the election results become final?
The Final (Official) Election results will be posted on the "View Election Results" link when all of the ballots have been counted. It does not matter what the current or periodically updated election results reflect, who is leading or who has been declared the victor by the media, ALL BALLOTS ARE STILL COUNTED, AND THERE ARE NO EXCEPTIONS!!! Results are not considered "Final" or "Official" until all* of the ballots have been tabulated.
*This includes early ballots received before the election, Election Day ballots voted at the polls, early ballots dropped off at the polls and all provisional ballots voted at the polls.
Depending on the size of the election (example: Local Election versus Presidential Countywide Election) and the volume of early ballots dropped off at the polls in conjunction with the number of provisional ballots cast, this process can take up to 6 days all the way up to 20 days. The reason is that every early ballot has to be signature verified and every provisional ballot has to be researched, verified, validated and processed for tabulation.
State Law (A.R.S.§16-642) states that the County has up to 20 days following the election to provide final 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. This has to be done, however, without sacrificing quality and accuracy for speed.
When ALL ballots have been counted, (Official) final results will be available on our website and they will be noted as "OFFICIAL FINAL RESULTS". In addition, if a City or Town is holding an election, many of the Cities and Towns will also host election results from their websites. Our "Elections Calendar" page will identify which of the Cities or Towns are holding elections and it also provides links to the various jurisdictional websites.
19. If I have a question or concern, how do I contact the Election's Department?
The best way to contact the Elections Department is though our call center at 602-506-1511. These agents are able to handle almost any inquiry; from checking to see if you are registered, requesting an early ballot, checking on the status of an early ballot and so on.
You may also contact the Elections Department via email. To expedite the reply, please use the specific email address noted below based on the type of question or concern you have.
- Send questions or comments relating to; elections, registration information, polling place information, etc. to: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Send Early Voting questions or comments to: email@example.com
- Send technical or webpage questions or comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org
We also have online survey and feedback forms that can be used to submit an inquiry or make a comment.