Attention Arizona Procrastinators: Don't Drop Your Early Ballots In The Mail

Published: Tuesday, March 22, 2016 - 11:44am
Updated: Tuesday, March 22, 2016 - 11:51am

If you're one of those voters who waited until the last minute to decide your presidential pick, a word of advice: don't put that ballot in the mail.

In Maricopa County alone, recorder Helen Purcell said she sent out nearly 895,000 early ballots. About 464,000 of those have come back-- meaning there are likely a bunch of ballots withering under piles of mail on kitchen tables across the Valley.

To be counted, the ballots have to be in the hands of county election officials no later than 7 p.m. Tuesday. So to ensure your vote is counted, you must carry your ballot by hand to any of the 60 open polling places around the county.

Some lawmakers have suggested altering the law to make legal any ballot that is postmarked by the voting deadline. Purcell doesn't think that's a good idea.

"The problem with that is, not all of the post offices put a postmark on there. We will see early ballots come back. Some of them will have (postmarks). Some of them will not. So how do I determine whether that was really given to the post office prior to 7:00 on election day?" she said.

And then there's the inevitable delay in results that would come from waiting for the last ballots to be mailed, received, opened and tabulated.

For everyone else who did not request early ballots, 60 polling places are open around the county until 7 p.m. Unlike a regular election, people can go to any one of them.

Click on the map to find your closest polling place, courtesy of the Arizona Secretary of State Office.

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