Arizona’s legacy of voter suppression is well-documented, which is why Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes and his office are working hard to ensure all eligible voters are legally registered to vote in Arizona’s upcoming primary.
“If you’re an eligible voter, I want you to exercise your rights and we’re going to make sure we do everything within the law to make that happen,” Fontes said.
The deadline to vote in Arizona’s upcoming primary is Monday, July 30. Though the actual date of the primary election is August 28, you must register to vote in the primary 28 days before it occurs. You cannot vote in the primary if you are not registered.
The Maricopa County Recorder’s office provides a thorough election guide online, as does the Arizona Department of Transportation and the Arizona Secretary of State's office. But to make sure you have the best understanding of how to register for the primary by the July 30 deadline, we’ve provided a quick and easy breakdown to answer any question you may have.
How can I register?
Register online at servicearizona.com/voterregistration. It's the simplest way for unregistered voters to register before the July 30 deadline.
What if I can't register online?
Register in-person or call the County Recorder's office. You can go to one of three offices to register in person.
- 111 South Third Avenue, 602-506-3535
- 222 East Javelina, Mesa, 602-506-3535
- 510 South Third Avenue, 602-506-1511
You can also call 602-506-1511 to have a registration form mailed to you. But with the deadline to register for the primary fast approaching, it’s best to do it online or in person.
I haven't voted recently. How can I find out if I'm still registered?
Go to the Secretary of State's website and fill in your county, your last name, you're date of birth and either your voter ID or your driver's license number and it will give you your status as either active or inactive.
What is the absolute deadline to register for the primary?
July 30. You cannot register to vote on the day of the primary. Arizona and most other states do not allow same-day voter registration. You can wait until the last minute and register on the July 30, but it's not suggested. “In order to make sure the registration goes through and there is enough time to process your registration, it’s best to register early,” Fontes said.
I’m busy and it will take too long to register.
Actually, it takes less than five minutes. Seriously. I needed to update my voter registration because I lived out of state for seven years and just moved into a new home. Upon hearing this, Fontes actually sat on the other end of the phone and walked me through the process step-by-step. Even with the time I needed to find my driver’s license among a house full of unpacked boxes, the whole process took four minutes, 27 seconds.
What are the qualifications needed to vote in the Arizona primary?
- You must be a United States citizen
- Be a resident of Arizona and a resident of the county listed on your registration
- Be 18 years old on the day of the election
What disqualifies me from voting?
- If you've been convicted of a felony and haven’t had your rights restored. For more information on having your rights restored, click here.
- You’ve formally been declared incompetent by a judge
What forms of ID can I use on the Voter Registration Form?
In order to vote, you must prove your citizenship with the following documents:
- A legible copy of your birth certificate. If the name on your birth certificate is not your current legal name, make sure you provide supporting legal documentation
- A photocopy of your passport identification page
- Naturalization papers or Alien Registration Number
- Tribal Certificate of Indian Blood or Tribal or Bureau of Indian Affairs Affidavit of Birth
What kind of personal details does the Voter Registration Form ask for?
An example of the Voter Registration Form can be found online. You can fill out the form online, print it, and mail it to 111 South Third Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85003. Make sure all the following details are filled out correctly, otherwise you risk having the registration rejected.
- First and last name
- Address where you live, including city and zip code
- Address where your mail is delivered
- The last four digits of your Social Security number
- Driver’s license number or AZ nonoperating license number
- Tribal Identification Number (optional)
- Alien registration number
What kinds of ID aren't accepted?
The list of IDs you cannot use is as vast as your own imagination, so stick to the list provided above. Just remember that university IDs are not valid forms of ID.
What if I just moved to Arizona and need to register here?
First of all, welcome! Second, make sure you get an Arizona State ID card or driver’s license as soon as possible. If you are registering to vote in Arizona for the first time, make sure you submit proof of citizenship with your Arizona Voter Registration Form, otherwise, the form will be rejected. See above for all valid forms of proof of citizenship.
What if I do not have a permanent residence?
Those who are homeless are still able to vote. Proof of citizenship is required, but you can also list the place you sleep most as your home. This includes the homeless shelter you frequent most, a local county courthouse, or the cross streets and building you sleep near. You’ll need to submit the same voter registration form, but Fontes’ office will provide you with a guide that shows information needed to vote in the primary.
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Oops! I think I messed up a column on my registration form. Am I not able to vote in the primary?
If you send in your registration on time, Fontes said his office will make every effort to send correspondence back to you or call to verify information needed. “We’re conscientious about deadlines for voters to registered on time, so that’s why we encourage online voter registration,” Fontes said. “We have a very robust policy to try and get in touch with folks to try to make sure we get them registered."
I’m registered as an Independent. The primary doesn’t matter to me if I can’t vote in it.
Independents are able to vote in Arizona’s open primaries. However, if you are a registered Independent, you still need to request a specific party’s ballot to vote in the primary. But don’t worry – just because you select a party’s ballot in the primary does not mean you’re registered with the party. You maintain your independence no matter which political party you vote for in the primary. If you do not indicate which party’s ballot you’d like to vote on in the primary, you will not receive a primary ballot.
Mail seems so antiquated. I wish I could keep track of my voter registration form.
Actually, you can, at least if you’re a Maricopa County resident. You can sign up for text and email notifications that let you track your registration like an Amazon package. You can see when your ballot is being mailed when it’s been received, and when the upcoming elections are.
I don't want to vote in the primary. When is the general election?
We can't tell you what to do, even though the Arizona primary is open. Arizona's general election is November 6, with the registration deadline for the general on October 9.