Clearing up voter confusion with Arizona's Presidential Preference Election

The Arizona Presidential Preference Election is coming up on Tuesday, March 17 and a lot of people are still unsure about who can vote and what the results will mean.

The Presidential Preference Election [PPE] is for Democrats because Republicans and Libertarians opted out. In the PPE, voters choose who they want to see on the ballot in November. 

The Primary Election in August is an open primary where Independents, Republicans, Libertarians and Democrats are eligible to vote. 

After Super Tuesday, a lot of things changed: some candidates have dropped out of the Presidential race, but Arizona voters may have cast their ballots and wonder if they can change their vote.

"Arizona is not a second chance voting state, so if those voters have already voted and sent their back ballot to us, they cannot vote again," said Scott Jarrett of the Maricopa County Elections Department.

If you didn't send your ballot in, "..if they have it in-hand, we've sent them instructions that they can correct their vote. So if they had voted for Elizabeth Warren, they can cross that out, follow those instructions clearly, then vote for who they want and send that ballot back to us."

The ballot will have the names of candidates who submitted their names back in December. You will have to ignore the names of candidates that are no longer in the race, otherwise, your vote won't count.

"On, we have a list where you'd be able to see who has officially withdrawn their candidacy and also an asterisk by who suspended publicly," said Erika Flores of the Maricopa County Elections Department.

If people are looking to vote in the PPE, can they go to any voting place or a delegated area?

"We have two options. We have 40 vote centers, so any one of those 40 vote centers, which are also on, they can go and vote at one of those.. not their assigned precinct. But then we also have another 189 assigned precincts, so voters essentially have 41 options. They can vote at their assigned precinct or one of those vote centers," explained Jarrett.

If someone is voting and hasn't already mailed in a ballot, what do they need to do?

"They need to bring their I.D... and the easiest is their driver's license," said Jarrett. "If they bring their driver's license, they'll be able to check-in, get a ballot and vote that ballot."

What is the Maricopa County Elections Department doing differently for the 2020 election?

"So we do have a voter outreach campaign,, where there's a personalized dashboard, where you just put some of your information on there, the last four digits of your social security number, your house number, your last name, and then you'll be able to see if you're registered as a Democrat, if you're eligible to vote in the Presidential Preference Election, you'll be able to see the locations, where you can vote. We also have more polling locations. We had 60 back then and now we have 229. We also have a line management clerk, so we'll have somebody who will be at those polling locations, letting people know if they have their mail-in ballot or they just want to drop it off, they don't have to wait in line, they can just go all the way to the front and drop it off," explained Flores.

Flores says Independents are not eligible to vote in the PPE.

If you want to change your party affiliation for the PPE, the deadline has passed. You can re-register for the August primary and November general election. You do not need to wait.


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