Voters casting ballots at new voting centers days before Election Day

Posted: Updated:
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

PHOENIX – It’s day two of the Phoenix mayoral election. Yes, day two; this year’s mayoral election is spread out over three days, and that’s not all that’s different.

For the first time, the city is using voting centers rather than the traditional polling places.

Registered voters can cast their ballots at any one of the 26 centers located throughout the city rather than at one specific place. In addition, those who have not yet mailed in their early ballots may drop off their completed ballots at any voting center.

With turnout at polling places, which are based on a voter’s home address, on the decline, the city was looking for a way to encourage people to get out and vote. The goal was to make is as easy and as convenient as possible.

Not only are voting centers and their new computer systems supposed to help streamline the process for voters, the idea also is a money-saver – to the tune of about $250,000.

While Election Day is officially Tuesday, the voting centers were open on Saturday and Monday to make it more convenient for voters.

So far, Phoenix is the only Arizona city using the voting-center concept.

Tuesday’s election is for mayor and City Council members from Districts 1,2,3,5 and 7.

There are six candidates for mayor. If no single candidate receives more than 50 percent of the vote, there will be a runoff come November. There has been no clear front-runner throughout the campaign so political experts say a November runoff is the most likely scenario.

Voting centers will be open 6 a.m.-7 p.m. Tuesday.