Voting in Arizona During the COVID-19 Pandemic
August 24, 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic has drastically changed the lives of most Americans. Most major events have either been postponed or canceled. However, the 2020 presidential election will take place on November 3rd. How can we exercise our fundamental right to vote while remaining safe and socially distant? This article explores an alternative option for voting in-person for Arizonans: Ballot-by-Mail.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends early voting and voting by mail where possible to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Arizona has a proud history of secure and reliable voting by mail. In fact, most Arizonans already do vote by mail.
There are two options for those that wish to vote by mail in Arizona. One is for those that would like to vote by mail permanently. The other is for those that wish to vote by mail once. Below is a step-by-step guide for each. These steps apply to those that have already registered to vote. Please visit the Secretary of State’s website here if you need to register.
Permanent Early Voting List
The Permanent Early Voting List (PEVL) is for Arizona-registered voters that wish to vote in all primary and general elections by mail. There are two ways to sign up: online and by written request.
Electing to the PEVL online is the easiest option. A registered voter need only have their driver’s license or identification card number ready and visit the online sign-up here. The other option is to make a written request to join the PEVL. This process is also relatively straight forward. Simply access the written request form and submit it to the appropriate County Recorder. Each County Recorder’s contact information is available here. Either of the above options must be exercised by October 23rd at 5:00 p.m. for those wishing to participate in the November general election.
Once you have received and completed your ballot, simply mail it back to the address on the designated envelope. Alternatively, you can drop it off in-person at any early voting location or at your polling booth on election day.
The One-Time Ballot-by-Mail option is for those Arizona registered voters that wish to exercise their right to vote via mail one time. There are four ways to request a One-Time Ballot-by-Mail.
The first option is by making a request online. Like the PEVL, this request is very straight forward. Simply visit the online sign-up provided by the Arizona Secretary of State and input the requested information. Note that an Arizona driver’s license identification number, voter ID, or house and social security numbers must be provided to complete this online sign-up.
An Arizona-registered voter can also elect for the one-time mail-in ballot by calling their County Recorder. Each County Recorder’s contact information is available here. Callers must provide their name, date of birth, residence address, and other identifying information as requested by the County Recorder’s office.
The third option is to submit a written ballot-by-mail request form which is available here. Mail, fax, or email a scanned copy of the completed form to your County Recorder’s office.
Finally, an email can be sent to your County Recorder with the following information:
- First and Last Name
- Date of Birth
- Residence Address
- Mailing Address (where you want the ballot sent, if different from Residence Address)
- State or Country of Birth, or another piece of information that, if compared to your voter record, would confirm your identity (g., Arizona Driver’s License number, last four digits of Social Security number, father’s name, or mother’s maiden name)
- Write the following message: “I am requesting a ballot-by-mail for the 2020 General Election and am giving the County Record permission to mail my ballot to the address provided in this email.”
Like the PEVL, the One-Time Ballot-by-Mail election must be exercised by October 23rd at 5:00 p.m. for those wishing to participate in the November general election. Also like the PEVL, you can mail in your ballot, bring it to any early voting location or bring it to your polling booth on election day.
The 2020 General Election Timeline for Arizona is as follows:
- August 2, 2020: First day to request a one-time ballot-by-mail for the General Election only
- October 5, 2020: Voter registration deadline
- October 7, 2020: First day for counties to mail ballots to voters (and first day of in-person early voting)
- October 23, 2020: Last day to request a ballot-by-mail or sign up for PEVL
- October 28, 2020: Recommend deadline to mail back your ballot
- November 3, 2020: Election Day – All ballots must be received by 7:00 p.m.
If you are already registered by mail but want to do so in person, bring a valid identification to your local polling location.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Cody J. McDavis is a law clerk in the Firm’s Business Transactions practice group.
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