Thousands of Arizona residents are registering to vote before tonight’s deadline in order to participate in the state’s presidential preference election on Feb. 5.
The deadline to register is midnight.
Thousands of residents have registered during the weekend and today, said Kevin Tyne, spokesman for the Arizona Secretary of State’s Office.
However, the task was made more difficult because the state’s on-line registration system worked only intermittently Sunday and has not been functioning at all today.
“The system is currently experiencing some difficulties. Our understanding is they are working on it and it will be back up and running today,” Tyne said just after noon.
The registration deadline will not be pushed back, despite the technical hang-up, he said.
Residents still may register by completing and mailing voter registration forms that are available at post offices before 5 p.m., today. Furthermore, residents can print out paper registration forms from the Secretary of State’s Web site and mail them before 5 p.m., or register in person at the Arizona Secretary of State’s office, at the State Capitol Executive Tower, 1700 W. Washington St., in Phoenix, until midnight today.
The Secretary of State’s office is operating a phone bank to assist voters who have questions about the process. The phone number is (602) 506-2348.
There’s an important hitch for those registering to vote – only registered Democrats and Republicans will be permitted to vote in their parties’ respective elections.
Independents, who comprise more than a quarter of all registered voters in Arizona, will not be allowed to vote because there is no nominating process for independent candidates. Libertarians will be blocked from voting because the state Libertarian Party is not conducting a presidential preference election.
It was impossible to immediately determine how many of the new voter registrations are in fact new voters, or independents reregistering as either Democrats or Republicans, Tyne said.
Information about registering is available at www.azsos.gov/election/How_to_register.htm.
Presidential preference election Q & A:
Question: Who can vote?
Answer: Only registered Democrats and Republicans will be permitted to vote. The Libertarian Party has opted not to participate. Independent voters don’t have a presidential preference system in place, so independents will not be allowed to vote.
Q: Is there time to register or re-register before the election?
A: The deadline is today. Arizona Secretary of State officials will accept voters’ registration paperwork until Monday at midnight, at the State Capitol Executive Tower, 1700 W. Washington St. in Phoenix. Registration also can be handled on-line. Information is available at the Arizona Secretary of State Office’s Web site at www.azsos.gov/election/How_to_register.htm.
Q: What will be on the ballots?
A: The Republican and Democratic ballots on will have just one question apiece. However, each ballot will list 24 candidates.
Q: Will voters be required to show identification at the polls?
A: Yes. They’ll be required to provide a valid Arizona driver’s license, tribal identification, or other government-issued ID. Or, they may show any two alternate forms of ID including a recent utility bill, bank statement, valid Arizona vehicle registration, Indian census card, residential property tax statement, auto insurance card, voter ID card or “official election material” mailed to the voter’s name and address.
Q: How can voters find out where their polling places are?
A: Polling locations are available three ways: 1) The addresses will be printed on sample ballots that will be mailed to registered Republicans and Democrats before Election Day; 2) The locations are available at the Maricopa County Recorder’s Web site at www.recorder.maricopa.gov; and 3) They’re available by phone at (602) 506-1511.
Q: Will there be early voting for the presidential preference election?
A: Yes. Early voting starts Thursday, when election officials will mail ballots to voters who are on the permanent early voter list. Ballots should start arriving at voters’ residences as early as Friday.
Q: Are there other ways to turn in early ballots?
A: Yes. Voters can drop off early ballots at any polling place on Election Day.
Q: Can voters who are not on the permanent early voter list vote early?
A: Yes. They can vote over the counter between Thursday and Feb. 1 at one of three designated early voting sites: 1) The Maricopa County Recorder’s Office at 222 E. Javelina Ave., in Mesa; 2) The Maricopa County Recorder’s Office at 111 S. Third Ave., in Phoenix; and 3) The Maricopa County Tabulation and Elections Center, 510 S. Third Ave., in Phoenix.
Q: Can voters still request early ballots?
A: Yes. The deadline is 5 p.m., Jan. 25. Voters can request early ballots two ways: 1) The county recorder’s Web site at www.recorder.maricopa.gov; and 2) By phone at (602) 506-1511.