As early ballot counting begins, Arizona political groups making big push to vote

2020's election cycle is something few will forget, as it was overshadowed by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

During these unprecedented times, more voters are sending in their ballots early. Elections officials say nearly 650,000 ballots are signature verified, nearly doubling the number of ballots in 2018.

At the same time period in 2016, there were a little more than 369,000 verified.

Final push by political groups

Across Arizona, both Republican and Democratic groups are making sure they make contact with every voter.

Eduardo Sainz with Mi Familia Vota says there are about a hundred people knocking on doors. The message is clear.

"We have an anti-Trump messaging that we're targeting Latino voters with," said Sainz. "These voters probably wouldn't go out and turn out in the election if we don't ask them to turn out, if we don't invite them to participate."

Keith Schipper, a spokesperson for Trump Victory, says President Trump holds a campaign advantage in Arizona.

"We've been in the state-building relationships with voters, building relationships with volunteers," said Schipper. "We have the infrastructure ready to capitalize on these final weeks of the election."

A ten-day extension of the voter registration deadline, which passed on Oct. 15, also gave Biden and Trump supporters more time to make their voices heard.

"There were more than 35,000 new voters that registered in those ten days, and we're happy that those voters will get a chance to participate in our great democracy," said Sainz.

According to a breakdown provided by the Secretary of State's Office, close to 8,300 Democrats, nearly 1,100 Republicans, and more than 15,000 independents registered to vote after Oct. 5.

"We made over six million voter contacts in the state, that's calling voters, knocking on their doors. That's unheard of in our state," said Schipper.

With a high turnout in early voting so far, the people haven't just made their political decisions, they've locked them in. Meanwhile, the deadline to request a mail-in ballot is Oct. 23. The votes must be dropped off by Nov. 3.