Ballot By Mail

Arizona's Ballot By Mail System

Ballot by mail has been available in Arizona for over two decades. In the 2020 General Election, approximately 89% of ballots cast were early ballots. As the majority of Arizona voters already choose this method to vote, the infrastructure and security measures are well in place to ensure ballots are safe and secure.

Arizona has an Active Early Voting List (AEVL, and formerly the Permanent Early Voting List (see SB1485, 55th Legislature)). AEVL allows a voter to sign up for a mail ballot to automatically be mailed to them for every election they are eligible to vote in. Voters may also make a one time request for a ballot to be mailed to them. Early voting begins 27 days before the election, so voters can expect to receive their ballot in the mail shortly after.

Requesting Your Ballot
  1. If you would like to receive your ballot by mail for the next upcoming election, make your request now.
  2. Ballots will be mailed out to voters that are on the Active Early Voting List or have requested a one time early ballot via first class mail.
  3. The deadline to request the county mail you a ballot is 11 days before the election (falls on the 2nd Friday preceding the election). 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 7 days before the election. 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 are unable to mail your voted ballot back 7 days before the election, it is recommended that you drop it off at a polling place or at a ballot 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.
    • 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

Decide What Voting Method Works Best For You.

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

Active Early Voting List
Voters can choose to be placed on the Active 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 AEVL list at any time.

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

Removal from AEVL
A voter may be removed from the AEVL if the voter does not cast their mail ballot in at least one election over the course of two consecutive election cycles and fails to respond to an official notice from the county recorder or elections office. For more information on how a voter may be removed from the AEVL, please see SB1485.

Please note, removal from the AEVL is NOT removal from the voter registration rolls. Failure to vote a mail ballot does not result in the voter's name being removed from the voter registration rolls.

How to 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 AEVL).

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).

Ballots must be dropped off at a location within a voter's registered county!

Is Voting by Mail Secure?

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

• Maricopa County voters can track their ballot here:

• Sign up for text and email alerts of their ballot status at:

• Navajo county voters can track their ballot here:

• Pima county voters can track their ballot here:

• Voters can track their ballot every step of the way here:

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