New report examines Arizona's Primary Election participation.
PHOENIX – Aug. 17, 2018—A supplement to a report about voter participation in Arizona commissioned by the Citizens Clean Elections Commission (CCEC) says that more than half of Arizona voters forgo voting in the Primary Election. With deadlines to request a ballot for the Primary on Aug. 17 and Primary Election Day on Aug. 28, it means that there is an immediate need to increase awareness among voters about these dismal numbers and to ignite participation. The findings, outlined by ASU Morrison Institute in their report, Arizona Primary Elections: Primarily Forgotten is now available on the CCEC website.
“We have an opportunity right now to reverse a negative trend in voter participation in our state,” said Arizona Clean Elections Executive Director Tom Collins. “This report says that only one in five eligible voters cast a ballot in the Arizona Primary; with participation even more dire among the second largest voting block in the state: “party not designated” or the group of voters that we call Independents. Now is the time to start to change history in Arizona in relation to voter participation.”
Low participation in the primaries is concerning because these races often serve as the decisive election for congress and the legislature. Moreover, the participation trend doesn’t bode well for elected representation that reflects the broader population. A few highlights from the Report follow:
Reasons for not participating in the elections are varied but one consistent theme that surfaces from voter focus groups conducted by the CCEC is lack of time and confusion on the process. These reasons are why the CCEC has developed easy-to-use education materials for every type of voter, whether they are newly registered or a ‘veteran’ voter. Summaries of some of these tools which can aid people leading up to the Primary Election on Aug. 28 and beyond, are below. The CCEC website is also a robust resource.
The Arizona Primary Elections: Primarily Forgotten, report by Morrison Institute for Public Policy is part of a statewide voter education/engagement project in collaboration with the Arizona Citizens Clean Elections Commission. This report and the recent report titled, Arizona’s Voter Crisis are available at AZCleanElections.gov and MorrisonInstitute.asu.edu. Over the next few weeks Citizens Clean Elections and Morrison Institute are jointly holding three town hall-style meetings around the state to examine and discuss regional challenges and solutions in improving voter turnout. Local elected officials, voters and “potential voters” will be invited to participate in this effort.