Q & A: Arizona's Presidential Preference Election

- The election in Arizona on Tuesday, March 22 is not really a primary, it's called a Presidential Preference Election and there's a simple reason why.

It's not called a primary because the Arizona presidential contest is "closed."

More than a third of all registered voters can't vote because they're registered as Independents.

In Arizona's Presidential Preference Election, only voters registered as Republicans and Democrats can vote and Green Party members too.

The state doesn't call it a primary because Arizona's real primary on August 30 is open to all registered voters.  That's when Independents, Republicans or Democrats or anyone else registered to vote can cast a ballot in any party they choose.

The Arizona Presidential Preference Election is different. It's only open to those registered to a political party taking part in the election.

So if you're a registered Independent, don't bother showing up to a polling place. Unless you changed your party preference before February 22, you won't get a ballot.

In February, the Arizona House voted to repeal state funding for the Presidential Preference Election.

If approved by the Senate and signed by Governor Doug Ducey, political parties will have to raise the $6 million the state reimburses counties to hold the election, but that won't happen in time for this year's vote.


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