Oct 12, 2022 - Politics

Choose your ballot adventure in Arizona's election

Illustrated collage of a hand casting a ballot with a mailbox and laptop in the background

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

There are many ways to cast your ballot in Maricopa County. Here's what to expect no matter which voting adventure you choose!

📬 Vote by mail

Be smart: If you've requested an early ballot (check here), it should arrive in the mail by the end of the week.

  • If you haven't requested one, you still can through Oct 28.
  • Your ballot must be received by 7pm on Nov. 8 to count. The county recommends getting it in the mail by Nov. 1 to ensure on-time arrival.

How it works: Once you fill out your ballot, place it in the green return envelope, sign and date it, write your phone number on it and mail it back.

  • Once the county receives it, election workers will verify your signature.
  • If it can be verified, a bipartisan board of poll workers will separate your ballot from the envelope and take it to the secure ballot tabulation center.
  • If it can't be verified, the county will attempt to contact you, and you'll have until Nov. 16 at 5pm to confirm your signature.

Of note: About 80% of Arizonans vote this way.

  • The first batch of results you will see on election night will consist of these ballots.

☑️ Vote early, in person

Be smart: If you're a Maricopa County resident, you can cast a ballot at several voting centers starting today.

  • You can vote at any of the locations, but be sure to check its hours of operation before you go.

How it works: You must provide ID and sign in on a tablet that will retrieve and print the ballot that corresponds with your address.

  • After you fill it out, you'll place the ballot in a white envelope and drop it in a container.
  • A bipartisan team of ballot couriers will collect the ballots and deliver them to the county elections department, where poll workers will process them the same way as ballots received by mail.

🗳️ Vote on Election Day

Be smart: You can cast your ballot at any voting center in the county on Election Day.

  • They'll be open from 6am from 7pm. You will be allowed to vote as long as you're in line by 7pm.

How it works: The check-in and ballot retrieval process is the same as with early in-person voting.

  • Yes, but: Instead of placing your ballot in an envelope, you will feed it into a ballot tabulator yourself.
  • After polls close, election workers will remove the memory cards from the tabulators and deliver them to the county to process.

Of note: The county will update results with Election Day votes throughout the night as it receives the memory cards.

📥 Drop off your mail-in ballot

Be smart: If you get a ballot mailed to you but don't send it back in time (or don't want to put it in the mail), you can drop it off at any vote center during early voting or on Election Day.

  • You can go to the front of the line at the vote center to drop it off.
  • The county also has several secure drop boxes throughout the Valley.

How it works: The county will process these ballots the same way it does early ballots received by mail.

Of note: Ballots dropped off on Election Day won't be counted until days later because of the time it takes to verify signatures.

  • If a lot of voters do this, we may not be able to call close races for several days.
  • Maricopa County Elections Department spokesperson Megan Gilbertson tells Axios Phoenix to expect between 150,000 and 250,000 early ballots dropped off on Election Day.
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