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Why Youth Voting Matters?

Building a relationship with the political process early on is key to forming lifelong voting habits. Clean Elections encourages citizen participation in the political process and provides the tools and resources, for all ages, to be able to vote informed.

Understanding the Process

To participate in the political process you must first understand it. The steps outlined below walk you all the way through registering to casting your ballot on election day!

Step 1. Registering to Vote

The first step to participating in elections would be registering yourself as a voter. The following page outlines the registration process:

Step 2. Receiving Your Ballot

Once registered, voters have options in how they would like to receive their ballot. The following page outlines the many ways to cast your ballot!

Step 3. Get Informed

Educate yourself on candidates and the issues so you can feel confident when casting your ballot! Clean Elections has the tools and resources to help youth voters get ready to vote informed.

Step 4. Casting Your Ballot

All ballots must be received by 7 PM on election day. Depending on how you received your ballot, you have options on how to return it. If you received your ballot by mail, you can mail it back (at least 6 days before the election) or drop it off at any polling location within your county. you do not need to wait in line when dropping off your early ballot! If you vote in person your ballot will be submitted at the time of voting.

Did You Know?

Did you know you can bring your children with you into the polling place? This provides an opportunity for parents to introduce their kids to the voting process. Also, children 16 years and older can work as a poll worker. This will hopefully instill the importance of civic responsibility, not to mention earning a paycheck!

High School Students
Even though you're not 18 yet, you may still be able to register to vote. As long as you will be 18 before the next regular general election (November 6, 2018) you can register now. Click here to register (LINK to reg. to vote page).

College Students
In State Students: Will you be living at or away from home? Dorm, or off-campus housing? Remember, when you register to vote use the address you consider your home address, as this will determine your district and who you're eligible to vote for. If you are temporarily residing away from home, make sure you notify your County Recorder of your new mailing address, so they can mail you your ballot.

For example, if you're registered to vote in Phoenix (Maricopa County) and you are attending school in Flagstaff (Coconino County), then Maricopa County will have to mail you your ballot or you will have to return to Phoenix to vote at your assigned polling location on Election Day. You are only eligible to vote in the County you are registered in. If you received your ballot by mail, make sure to return it back to the correct county by 7 PM on election day.

Out of State Students: Are you leaving Arizona to attend school in another state? You will need to determine if you are still a resident of Arizona (you intend to return) or a resident of the new state. You may only be registered to vote in one location. If you will be registered to vote in Arizona, you will need to contact your County Recorder prior to each election and request your ballot be mailed to your out of state location. If registering to vote in another state, make sure you cancel your Arizona registration and contact the Secretary of State's Office for that state's registration process.

For example, if you're registered to vote in Arizona and you are attending school in California, then your Arizona County Recorder will have to mail you your ballot or you will have to return to Arizona to vote at your assigned polling location on Election Day. You are only eligible to vote in the state you are registered in. If you received your ballot by mail, make sure to return it back to the correct county by 7 PM on election day.

IMPORTANT Residency status may impact tuition and scholarships, contact your school for additional information.

Are you a Government or Civics Teacher? Please feel free to contact Clean Elections to help you educate your students on voting and the political process. We are happy to visit classrooms and bring educational materials. Submit a request by emailing the Commission here.

Why Does My Vote Matter?

Research shows younger voters often feel as though their vote doesn't count, when in reality it's the opposite. Every vote counts and every vote can make a difference.

For example, the 2016 Congressional District 5 Primary race was so highly contested it resulted in an official recount being called. After the recount concluded the nominee won by just 27 votes!

Voter Identification

In Arizona, voters are required to present identification at the polls before receiving their ballot. Please take a look at our "ID at the Polls" tool for more information on what ID is acceptable.

Students, did you know your student ID most likely is not accepted at the polls? This is because most student ID cards do not include a photograph and/or address. If you do not have proper ID, you can still vote. Early voting, whether by mail or in-person, does not require ID as a voter's identity is verified through their signature.

Additional Resources

Please feel free to visit the below resources:

College Students FAQ

Can I Vote Early?
Absolutely. If you are on the Permanent Early Voting List (PEVL), you will automatically receive a ballot in your mailbox beginning 27 days before the election. Voters not on PEVL may make a one-time early ballot request or sign up for the Permanent Early Voting List. Contact your County Recorder's Office to request an early ballot or find early voting locations.

Do I Need ID to Vote Early?
If you vote early, either by mail or in person, ID is not required. Your signature on the early ballot affidavit is compared to your voter registration record by the County Recorder to determine if the signature is valid. ID is required if you vote at the polls on Election Day.

When are the Polls Open?
Polls are open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Election Day. Find your polling place here (LINK to Dashboard).

How Can Military & Overseas Voters Get a Ballot?
Military and Overseas voters have special voting rights under federal and state law (Uniformed & Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA)). These rights include the use of a Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) to register to vote and request an early ballot as well as the use of a Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB), which serves as an emergency back-up ballot.

For more information, UOCAVA voters should visit our Military Voters page.

Do I Have to Vote Everything on My Ballot?
No, voters do not have to vote everything on their ballot. The votes they do cast will still be counted. However, we encourage voters to vote down the ballot as local races, propositions, judges, etc. can impact voters' daily lives.