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Learn why voting by mail is important because of social distancing due to Covid-19.

STATEMENT ON UNITED STATES POSTAL SERVICE AND BALLOT BY MAIL


Ballot by mail has been available in Arizona for over two decades and approximately 80% of Arizona voters already choose this method to vote. As such, the infrastructure and security are well in place. Importantly, there is a long standing relationship between Arizona election officials and the United States Postal Service for the delivery of official election mail, including ballots. In the August 4th Primary Election, over 1.2 million early ballots were cast (almost 88% of the vote). Arizona is equipped to handle increases in ballot by mail requests for the General Election.

With the potential changes being discussed in USPS funding and operations, voters should know the following:

REQUESTING YOUR BALLOT

  1. If you would like to receive your ballot by mail for the November 3rd General Election, make your request now.
  2. Ballots will be mailed out to voters that are on the Permanent Early Voting List or have requested a one time early ballot via first class mail beginning on Wednesday, October 7th.
  3. The deadline to request the county mail you a ballot is October 23rd at 5pm. We recommend making your request as early as possible.
  4. USPS advises: Where voters will both receive and send a ballot by mail, voters should submit their ballot request early enough so that it is received by their election officials at least 15 days before Election Day at a minimum, and preferably long before that time.

RETURNING YOUR BALLOT

1. Arizona law allows voters options on how to return their voted ballot, outside of mailing it through USPS. You can return your voted ballot by:

  • Dropping it off at any voting location in your county or;
  • Depositing it in any secured ballot drop box in your county.
  • See the Google Map below for a list of all ballot drop boxes in Arizona.

2. If you wish to return your ballot through USPS, it is recommended that you return it as soon as possible. The latest date recommended to mail back your ballot is Tuesday, October 27th. Postage is prepaid and does not require a stamp.

3. Clean Elections does not recommend using private carriers to return your voted ballot if you are in state. Voters that are temporarily out of state and not a uniformed or overseas (UOCAVA) voter, should contact their county recorder with questions about using a private carrier to return their voted ballot.

4. UOCAVA voters have the option to receive and return their voted ballot electronically. Click here for more information.

5. If you cannot mail your ballot back by October 27th, it is recommended you drop it off at a voting location or ballot drop box.

6. Track your ballot. Voters can look up the status of their ballot online to confirm if it was received and counted. Maricopa County voters can sign up for text and email notifications.

7. Ballots are non-forwardable. Voters that will be out of town or away from their residence should contact their county recorder immediately so they can mail their ballot to their temporary mailing address.

  • This is extremely important for voters out of state, including college students, as mail times could be impacted and the voter will need to allow as much time as possible to receive and return their ballot.

8. ALL VOTED BALLOTS MUST BE RECEIVED NO LATER THAN 7PM ON ELECTION DAY.

  • In Arizona, postmarks are not sufficient. The ballot must be received by the County Elections Officials by 7pm on Election Day, whether it is mailed back or dropped off at a voting location or drop box.

Please visit the United States Postal Service's newly launched website about election mail to learn more.

Why Ballot By Mail Works in Arizona?


How does our current national environment surrounding voting by mail affect Arizona in the upcoming election? We talked to Tammy Patrick, Senior Advisor for the Democracy Fund and national election mail expert, to find out.

Play Why Ballot By Mail Works in Arizona

Get Started


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The first step is to understand the difference between a one-time early ballot request and the Permanent Early Voting List, so you can decide what works best for you.


The deadline to request a ballot by mail for the November 3, 2020 General Election is October 23, 2020 at 5:00 p.m.

One Time Early Ballot Request
Voters can choose to request a ballot by mail for the upcoming election only. Some reasons to do this include if you prefer not to visit the polls due to COVID-19 concerns, if you know you won’t be able to vote on Election Day, or if you prefer to have more time with your ballot to study the candidates and issues.

How to Request a One Time Early Ballot
Just contact your county recorder by phone or email, visit their website, or click the button below. You can also request a one time early ballot for both the primary and general elections in the same request.

Request a Ballot by Mail

Permanent Early Voting List
Voters can choose to be placed on the Permanent Early Voting List. This means that the voter does not have to contact their county ahead of every election to request an early ballot. The county will automatically mail the voter an early ballot for every election they are eligible to vote in. A voter can remove themselves from the PEVL list at any time.

How to Sign Up for PEVL
You can sign up for PEVL is on servicearizona.com and complete a new voter registration form. You will be asked if you want to join PEVL and your existing voter registration record will be updated.


Participate In Elections


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How do I vote By Mail in Arizona Elections


After you have made your request for a ballot by mail, the County Recorder will mail you your ballot. Ballots are mailed beginning 27 days before the election. Start checking your mailbox for your official early ballot during this time period.

How to vote an early ballot?

Step 1. Request your early ballot (either one time request or sign up for PEVL).

Step 2. Retrieve your ballot from your mailbox.

Step 3. Vote your ballot.

  • You can find voter education tools from Clean Elections to help you learn about the candidates and the issues.

  • Be sure to mark your ballot according to the instructions included in your early ballot package and use the appropriate type of pen.

Step 4. Place your voted ballot inside the early ballot affidavit envelope.

Step 5. SIGN the early ballot affidavit envelope. Your ballot will not be counted unless you do this step.

Step 6. Seal your ballot and return it (see below).

Step 7.Verify your ballot was received and counted (see below).

Make Your Vote Count


However you decide to return your early ballot, all ballots must be received by 7:00 p.m. on Election Day.

How to return an early ballot


By Mail:

You should always plan to mail back your ballot at least 7 days prior to election day, to ensure it is received by the county in time. The United States Post Office recommends 7 days for returning ballots by mail, which is first class mail. Postage is pre-paid so all you have to do is drop your signed and sealed ballot envelope in the mail.

Drop it Off:

If you don’t have enough time to mail your ballot back or prefer to return it in person, you have several options:

  1. You can drop your ballot off at any in-person early voting locations, including the County Recorder’s Office or Elections Office.

  2. Some counties have secured ballot drop boxes. You can drop your ballot off in any ballot drop box in your county.

  3. You can drop your ballot off at any voting location in your county on Election Day. No need to wait in line. Just head straight inside the voting location and drop it in the early ballot bin. You can get an I Voted sticker too!

However you decide to return your ballot, just remember to SIGN IT and that the county RECEIVES it by 7:00 p.m. on Election Day.

What is a ballot drop box?


A ballot drop box is a secured bin provided by County Election Officials where voters can return their voted ballot. They are located in a secure location, such as inside or in front of a federal, state, local, or tribal government building. The Election Procedures Manual details the security measures required for ballot drop boxes. Click here to read more (page 60 of the manual).

Drop Box Image

NOTICE: Drop boxes are established by the county and are subject to change. These locations are currently being confirmed/updated for the November 3rd General Election.

Is Voting by Mail Secure?


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The infrastructure of the voting by mail system is already well established in Arizona. Approximately 80% of Arizona voters chose to vote by mail.

It’s important to note that a voter’s identity is confirmed before their ballot is counted, whether it’s an early ballot or a ballot cast at the polls. When you vote by mail, your signature on the early ballot affidavit is compared to the signature on file with your voter registration record. Voters must sign this envelope in order for their ballot to be counted. County election staff receive professional training to verify the signature on the affidavit envelope matches the signature on the voters' registration record. This is done to ensure the integrity of the early voting process.

If the signature is a match, the ballot proceeds to the Citizens Boards who then prepare the unopened ballots for tabulation. The Citizens Boards are made up of two board members of different political party affiliations. They confirm that the County Recorder verified the voter’s signature and then they remove the ballot from the envelope, taking special care to ensure the privacy of the voters' ballot. The ballots are then transmitted to the tabulation room.

If the county is unable to verify the signature, the county will attempt to contact the voter. Voters have until 5:00 p.m. on the 5th business day after the primary or general election to confirm/correct their signature.


How can I confirm my ballot was counted?

Voters can verify their ballot was counted at arizona.vote.

Maricopa County voters can sign up for text and email alerts of their ballot status at: https://recorder.maricopa.gov/subscriptions/

Navajo county voters can track their ballot here: https://navajocountyvotes.ballottrax.net/voter/

The Impact On Voting Due to COVID-19
The coronavirus has greatly impacted how communities are able to conduct many aspects of everyday life, from doing business to providing important services. Voting is crucial to our nation's electoral process and voters have options on how to cast their ballot. If you decide voting by mail is the best choice for you this year, we encourage you to request your mail ballot today!