ballots Photo courtesy of Celisse Jones, Cronkite News

Elections officials say ballots mailed after March 4 may not be counted.

Tempe and Chandler residents who are part of the state’s early voting list have until Wednesday, March 4, to mail in their ballots for the March 10 elections to guarantee they will be counted.

The Maricopa County Elections Department sent out a reminder Tuesday that state law requires ballots be received – not mailed – by 7 p.m. on March 10, or the ballot cannot be considered valid. Residents on the state’s Permanent Early Voter List may either mail in their ballots or drop them off at any designated ballot drop box location. Voters whose ballots are lost or damaged may also obtain a replacement at a Ballot Replacement Center. Locations can be found at the Maricopa County Recorder’s website.

On March 10, Chandler residents are being asked to weigh in on an amendment to their city’s charter that would move election days to fall in line with elections held by Maricopa County. Additionally, voters in Tempe have been asked to cast their ballots to elect a Mayor and fill three seats on the City Council.

Voters registered as members of the Democratic Party in the two East Valley cities should expect to receive two ballots in the mail – one for local elections, and one for the Presidential Preference Election. Election officials added a black stripe to city ballots, and a red stripe to ballots for the presidential race. 

“Maricopa County is excited to assist the cities of Tempe and Chandler conduct this important election,” Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes said in a press release. “It’s important that voters mail-in or drop-off their ballots so our office receives them in time to count. Be sure to put those city election ballots in the envelope with the black stripe on it.”

Election Day for both city elections is on March 10, with the Presidential Preference Election Day held one week later, on March 17. Voters can keep tabs on the status of their ballot by sending a text with the word “Join” to 628-683. They can also check their ballot status on the county’s website. Voters who sign up for text alerts will be notified when their ballot is received, verified, and counted.