Arizona Secretary of State - Ken Bennett

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For Immediate Release
April 22, 2010

Contact: Matthew Benson
Director of Communications
602-350-2834 - mobile

Twitter: @therealAZsos

More than 8,000 voters register for Special Election

Signed up in final 24 hours before midnight Monday deadline

PHOENIX – Monday, April 19, was one of Arizona’s busiest days ever in terms of voter registration.

More than 8,300 citizens joined the ranks of registered voters that day, just beating a midnight Monday deadline to be eligible to cast a ballot in the state’s May 18 Special Election. To accommodate the expected rush, the Secretary of State’s Office hosted a voter registration drive on Monday from 4 p.m. to midnight. The vast majority of new registrants chose to visit and sign up online. Existing voters had no need to re-register for the Special Election.

All in all, Monday ranked as the state’s 12th busiest day in terms of voter registration in a 24-hour period. The state’s largest-volume day came Oct. 6, 2008 – also on the eve of a registration deadline – when 39,000 citizens registered electronically to be eligible to cast ballots in the General Election.

“Our democracy depends on informed participation by the public,” said Secretary of State Ken Bennett. “So, I’m delighted to see so many citizens have chosen to become voters and, hopefully, cast ballots in the upcoming Special Election.”

On the statewide ballot in that election is Proposition 100, which would increase the state sales tax by 1 cent per dollar for three years. The revenue would benefit public education, health and human services and public safety.

Of the more than 8,320 Arizonans who registered Monday, 2,654 joined the Republican Party. Among the state’s three other recognized political parties, 2,225 citizens registered as Democrats, 104 as Libertarians and 30 as members of the Green Party.

The remainder – about 3,000 voters – registered as independent, unaffiliated or as members of an unrecognized party. Some of these new voters showed a high degree of creativity, with one individual signing on as a member of the “American Patriot Party,” and one for the “Dance Party.” Quite popular was the “Pirate Party,” joined by three new voters. Members of these and other political parties unrecognized by the state of Arizona are counted as independent or unaffiliated voters.

As of the last registration count, March 1, the state had 3,110,725 active, registered voters.

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For all media questions, or to schedule an interview with Secretary Bennett, contact Matthew Benson, director of communications, at (602) 350-2834.