The Arizona Citizens Clean Elections Commission Approves Voter Education Plan for the 2022 Election
In a unanimous vote on Jan. 27 the Arizona Citizens Clean Elections Commission approved its 2022 voter education plan. It is the blueprint designed to ensure voters have accurate information about candidates and elections.
“This is an important election year in which almost all statewide offices are on the ballot and many offices, including governor, attorney general and secretary of state are open seats,” Chairman Damien Meyer said, “The need for nonpartisan, nonpolitical information for the public is greater than ever.” Voter education has become an increasingly important part of elections in the past several years, as access to consistent and accurate information has become crucial.
“The goal of the voter education plan is to meet voters where they are,” said Voter Education Director Gina Roberts. “The plan is to leverage our resources and ensure that voters are able to access information conveniently and timely.”
Roberts said that voters face a number of information challenges, including the vast amount of misinformation that permeates the online discourse.
“Misinformation simply means information that is presented as fact but is mistaken,” Roberts said. “However, in the era of social media, where more and more people rely on their social networks for news, misinformation is endemic. And alarmingly, disinformation, which is the intentional act to mislead, is increasingly rampant.”
It’s important voters have a trusted source of voter information from an entity that was created by voters, for voters, with the purpose of promoting participation in the political process. Voters can trust the information they receive from Clean Elections is official, accurate, nonpartisan, and relevant, so they can cast their vote confidently.
The Commission’s Voter Education Plan will:
- • Provide logistical voting information: how to register to vote, voting locations, how to vote by mail, what identification is needed, etc.
- • Connect voters directly with candidates through the Voter Education Guide, Candidate Debates and Candidate Compass tool, to discuss the issues voters have identified as important. These tools allow candidates to speak directly to the voters, which is a necessary bridge when political advertising continues to increase in Arizona.
- • Expand language accessibility by providing information on candidates, elections and government in American Sign Language, Navajo and Apache, and other languages.
- • Increase outreach among the state’s newest and next generation of voters.
- • Continue to build and strengthen community partnerships, such as the disability community and the Native American community, to provide solutions to the challenges these communities often face when voting.
The Commission has budgeted $3.4 million with the vast majority of those dollars being spent on statutorily mandated items like the Voter Education Guide and Candidate Debates.
“The Commission budget may seem like a lot, but the dramatic increase in advertising, especially political advertising, means that the Commission’s spending, which is capped by statute, is actually not keeping pace with the need to inform voters,” Roberts said. For these reasons, it is imperative that the Commission’s voter education plan is comprehensive and multi-faceted, so voters across the state, whether at the bottom of the Grand Canyon or in central Phoenix, have access to the information they need.
Voters are encouraged to visit azcleanelections.gov to find all of their official voting information and to follow Clean Elections on social media so they never miss an election deadline.