Presidental prefernce deadline looms for republicans and green

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TUCSON, Ariz. -- With presidential primary elections already underway, an important voter registration deadline looms in Arizona.

There are a lot of questions about how to get your information right and get it in on time, and the Pima County recorder's office is bustling.

"Those citizens who we're really trying to reach out to are those people who are registered as either independent or party not designated," said Pima County Recorder F. Ann Rodriguez.

The Pima County recorder is warning people to register and pick a party by next Monday.

The presidential preference election is next month, but only registered republicans can cast a ballot.

"If they want to participate in this election then they will have to re-register as a republican, if that's the kind they want to vote for, or green if they want to vote for the green candidates," said Rodriguez.

As the rush to register is underway, the Pima County Tea Party Patriots had expressed concerns that the online voter registration site was switching some voters to undeclared.

The group says it was keeping members informed, but the recorders office says the site will not complete your registration unless you check a party or 'no party preference.'

"Most of our precinct committeemen are walking and calling everyone in their precincts," said former Director of the Pima County Republican Party Linda White.

The Pima County republican party says some tea party supporters are designating that party on their forms, but doing so will not make them eligible to vote in the preference election.

"That's wonderful they're accepting those voter registrations but it has to say republican in order for them to get a ballot," said Rodriguez.

Democrat or republican, the numbers of registered voters are down.

New stats from the state show arizona has more than 3 million registered voters, but that number is down about 27,000 since October.

The secretary of state says that's due in part to counties purging inactive voters from their lists.