Answers To Every Question About Voting You Were Too Afraid To Ask

Photo by Dan Dennis

By Alicia Barrón

October 14, 2020

These are some of the most common questions elections officials get from voters about participating in elections.

As the election draws closer, Arizonans needs to know the facts about how to make their voices heard. Over 80% of votes cast in Arizona in most elections are by mail, and more voters than ever are looking to cast their ballot by mail due to the pandemic.

The voter registration deadline for the general election is now 11: 59 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 15. Voters in Arizona can check to see if they’re registered to vote here. Arizonans can register online if they have either an Arizona driver’s license or an Arizona ID Card.

Early, in-person voting started on Oct. 7 and, so far, has resulted in a historic turnout. Arizona voters can mail their ballot early and participate in in-person early voting until Oct. 30. Hundreds of polling places will also be available for voters to vote in-person or drop of their ballots on Election Day, Nov. 3.

Graphic courtesy of Arizona Secretary of State

I voted! When will I know the results of the election?
Voters should know that no election results will be released before 8 p.m. on Nov. 3 — Election Day. Find your polling location here

What do I need for identification?

Proof of citizenship is required to register to vote and receive a ballot with federal and state issues in Arizona. Types of acceptable identification can be found here.

How can I become a poll worker?

Poll workers are needed more than ever this election cycle. Anyone interested in becoming a poll worker to help run polling locations on Nov. 3 can get more information here. Poll workers are paid for their service.

I always vote in person. Can I still receive a ballot in the mail?

Registered voters can request a mail-in ballot until Oct. 23 by going here. They can also sign up for the Permanent Early Voter List (PEVL), and can remove themselves from the list at any time.

Voters who are not on the PEVL also have the option to call or email a request for a one-time early ballot.

I’m away at college. Can I vote?

Arizona college students attending in-state school can be on the PEVL or call for one-time early ballot. The Voter Registration Department, nevertheless, will need your out-of-town, in-state mailing address. However, students attending college out-of state do not qualify for PEVL but can call or email to request an early ballot to be sent by mail. 

Can I vote if I am currently living in a different country?

Arizona voters living abroad and Arizona residents serving in the military can cast their ballots by signing up through the Federal Assistance Voting Program and becoming a UOCAVA (Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Voting Act) voter. Those voters can return their ballot by email, fax or mail beginning 45 days prior to the election. 

If I received a ballot in the mail, can I still vote in person?

Those who received an early ballot can go to the polls on Election Day and vote. If records show they have already returned an early ballot, they must vote a provisional ballot. If records show they have not returned an early ballot, they will vote a regular ballot.

Even if registered voters received their ballot in the mail, they do not have to return their ballot by mail if it’s not the most convenient option. Registered voters have several options, including dropping their ballot off at a drop box, taking the ballot to an early-voting location, turn it in to their local recorder’s office, or drop the ballot off at a polling location on Election Day. 

I filled out my ballot incorrectly. Can I fix it?

Don’t worry about making a mistake on your ballot. Per Arizona law, a voter is allowed 3 ballots if you mess up, although only one ballot counts. In fact, voting twice is a felony.

When do election workers begin counting votes?

If early voters are wondering whether their ballots are counted first or last, early ballots in Arizona are counted first, starting 14 days before Election Day. 

How do you know someone else didn’t steal my ballot and vote in my place?

Arizona voters should know that every single signature on every early ballot is checked and verified with signatures kept on voter registration records. 

What if the signature on my ballot doesn’t match?

Voters should know that voter registration teams are expected to reach out by all methods available on the voter’s record to let them know about a mismatched or inconsistency with their signature. 

In fact, a voter has five (5) days after an election that includes a federal race and three (3) days after all other elections to “cure” their signature, or address any issues with mismatches or inconsistencies. 


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