voters Voting|Stock Photo

Maricopa County Elections Department announced on Monday that it is more than tripling the number of voting locations for the Democratic Presidential Preference Election on March 17, 2020.

According to a press release, voters will have access to 229 voting locations on Election Day. Forty of the planned polling places will serve as vote anywhere locations.

“My number one priority during my term as Chairman is to run great elections,” said Clint Hickman, chairman for Maricopa County Board of Supervisors from District 4. “Today we approved 229 voting locations for the March 17th Presidential Preference Election, more than tripling the 2016 number.”

The release noted that the Elections Department reviewed historic turnout models, mapped voting patterns, and worked with community partners to increase polling locations from 60 in 2016 to 229 this election.

Additionally, the Elections Department has purchased new tabulation equipment, nearly doubled the amount of full-time staff, and invested in BeBallotReady.vote – a voter education campaign. The improvements have been attributed to a new joint management structure with the Board of Supervisors and Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes’ office.

Unlike Arizona’s traditional primaries, the Presidential Preference Election is not open to all registered voters. Voters may only cast a ballot for a candidate of the party the voter is registered with. Those individuals registered as having no party preference cannot participate unless they change their registration.

Only the Democratic Party has chosen to participate in the March 17, 2020 election. Anyone who wishes to participate must be registered as a Democrat by Feb. 18, 2020.

This week’s voting location increase comes amidst the announcement that the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals granted Attorney General Mark Brnovich’s challenge to a court ruling on H.B. 2023 made last month repealing the state’s controversial ballot collection law. 

Brnovich has until April 30 to submit a petition for the case to be heard by the Supreme Court, and the justices have 30 days after submission to decide whether or not they will hear the case, or defer to the lower court’s ruling. 

The reinstatement of the ballot collection ban comes one week before early ballots are to be mailed for the Presidential Preference Election. However, with the court in winter recess until Feb. 21, it’s unlikely a decision will be made before Election Day on March 17.

Early voting begins Feb. 19. Arizonans can find the full list of polling places and office addresses at Locations.Maricopa.Vote