Early Voting Procedures
Any election in Arizona must provide for early voting, which includes ballot-by-mail voting and in-person early voting. A.R.S. § 16-541.
A voter may request to automatically receive a ballot-by-mail or request a ballot-by-mail for a specific election.
Join the Active Early Voter List to receive a ballot-by-mail automatically for every election for which you are eligible. Learn more in the Vote-By-Mail section.
You may request a ballot-by-mail for a specific election, which includes a simultaneous request for a ballot-by-mail for both the primary and general election beginning 93 days in advance of the primary. A.R.S. § 16-542(A). The request should be sent to the appropriate County Recorder.
Candidates, political committees, or other organizations are permitted to distribute ballot-by-mail request forms to voters. Such request forms must be submitted to the County Recorder within six business days after receipt by a candidate, political committee, or other organization or 11 days before Election Day, whichever is earlier. A.R.S. § 16-542(I), (J).
Any qualified elector may request a ballot-by-mail for any election they are eligible to vote in. A.R.S. § 16-542. However, for an election that includes a federal office, first-time voters who registered to vote by mail must prove their identity before requesting a ballot-by-mail. 52 U.S.C. § 21083(b). This can be through a driver's license, last four of their SSN, or by voting in-person one time.
A voter may request a ballot-by-mail between 93 and 11 days before the election. A.R.S. § 16-542(A), (E). A voter may simultaneously request a ballot-by-mail for both a primary and general election as long as the request is made between 93 and 11 days before the primary election.
UOCAVA (military and/or overseas) voters may make a request for a ballot-by-mail more than 93 days before an election. A.R.S. § 16-542(B).
Voters registered without a political party (aka independent or other) must always submit a request if they wish to receive a ballot-by-mail for a primary election. As they are registered without a political party, they get to choose which partisan primary election to participate in. A.R.S. § 16-542(A).
Requesting a political party ballot does not change the voter's political party preference in their registration record. If a voter re-registers to vote with a recognized political party by the voter registration deadline for the primary the voter may only participate in that party's primary election. Please note, that if the voter made a request for a primary election ballot prior to re-registering they may receive two ballots in the mail. The only ballot will be counted is the one for the party the voter is now registered for.
Active Early Voting List (AEVL)
A voter may request to be placed on the Active Early Voter List (AEVL) and receive a ballot-by-mail for each election the voter is eligible for. A.R.S. § 16-544(A).
Unless an AEVL voter notifies the County Recorder at least 45 days before an election that the voter does not wish to receive a ballot-by-mail, the County Recorder will automatically schedule the mailing of a ballot-by-mail to the voter. A.R.S. § 16-544(F).
For the statewide partisan primary election, the County Recorder will not mail a ballot to a voter who is not registered with a recognized political party unless the voter timely selected a political party ballot. A.R.S. § 16-544(G).
A first-time voter with "federal-only" designation who registered by mail (i.e., has a "FED" designation) and requests to be placed on the AEVL must first prove their identity prior to receiving a ballot-by-mail. 52 U.S.C. § 21083(b).
A UOCAVA (military and/or overseas) voter also may request to be placed on the AEVL, however ballots are transmitted to these UOCAVA voters at least 45 days before the election. A.R.S. § 16-544(J). If an AEVL voter loses their UOCAVA status, the voter shall continue to receive a ballot-by-mail at their designated mailing address if the address is in Arizona. In this case they will be sent their ballot-by-mail only 27 days before election day.
A voter enrolled in the AEVL may not request that ballots be automatically sent to an out-of-state address for each election unless the voter is also a UOCAVA voter. An AEVL voter may make one-time requests to have their ballot mailed to an address outside of Arizona for specific elections. A.R.S. § 16-544(B). Vote-by-Mail page
A voter may request to be placed on the AEVL at any time. In order for a ballot to be mailed to the voter for a specific election, the request must be received by the County no later than 5:00 p.m. on the 11th day before the election. This is two Fridays before Election Day. A.R.S. § 16-542(A), (E), (F).
If a voter requests to be placed on the AEVL less than 11 days before the election, no ballot will be mailed to the voter for that current election, but the voter's AEVL status will be activated for future elections.
A voter may request to be placed on the AEVL by:
- Selecting the AEVL request box on the State Form;
- Selecting the AEVL request option on an online registration;
- Submitting an AEVL request form issued by a County Recorder; or
- Making a written request that contains the minimum required information for an AEVL request.
If a voter makes a request to be added to the AEVL other than through an initial voter registration, the County Recorder will compare the signature on the AEVL request form with the signature in the voter's record to determine whether the same person signed both forms before adding the voter to the AEVL. A.R.S. § 16-544(C).
After a valid request, the County Recorder will update the voter's registration record to reflect AEVL status. A.R.S. § 16-544(C).
A voter may be removed from AEVL for any of the following reasons:
- The voter makes a written request to be removed from the AEVL, which includes the voter's name, residence address, date of birth, and signature; A.R.S. § 16-544(I).
- The 90-day notice is returned as undeliverable, and the County Recorder is unable to contact the voter to confirm the voter's continued desire to remain on the AEVL; (A.R.S. § 16-544(M)) or
- The voter's registration record is placed in an "inactive" or "canceled" status. A.R.S. § 16-544(H)(2).
- The voter did not vote by early ballot in any election for two consecutive election cycles, approximately four years, (beginning after the 2022 election cycle) AND failed to return a notice and confirm in writing the voter's desire to remain on the AEVL, within 90 days of receiving the notice. The voter will still remain an active voter, they will simply no longer receive a ballot-by-mail.
On or before January 15 of each odd-numbered year, starting in 2025, the County Recorder shall send a notice to each voter who is on the AEVL and who did not vote by early ballot for any of the elections in the previous two election cycles. The notice informs the voter that, to remain on the AEVL, the voter must:
- Confirm in writing the voter's desire to remain on the AEVL; and
- Return the completed and signed notice that contains the voter's address and date of birth to the County Recorder within 90 days of receipt of the notice.
If a voter receives a notice as described above and the voter does not respond to the notice within the 90-day time period, the County Recorder will remove the voter from the AEVL. A.R.S. § 16-544(H)-(I), (K).
Like with one-time ballot-by-mail request forms, candidates, political committees, or other organizations are permitted to distribute AEVL request forms to voters. A.R.S. § 16-544(L).
If a candidate, political committee, or other organization receives a completed request form, they must return the request form to the applicable County Recorder within six business days of receipt or 11 days before Election Day, whichever is sooner. A.R.S. § 16-544(O). Failure to timely return completed request forms may result in a civil penalty of $25 per day for each form withheld. Any person who knowingly fails to return completed AEVL request forms by the submission deadline may be guilty of a class 6 felony. A.R.S. § 16-544(O).
The County Recorder's will mail a notice to all eligible AEVL voters at least 90 days before the Primary Election and Presidential Preference Election. A.R.S. § 16-544(D). The notice must include a postage-prepaid means for the voter to:
- Change the mailing address to another location within the state;
- Update the voter's residence address in the county of residence;
- Request that the voter not be sent a ballot for the upcoming election or elections indicated in the notice; and
- In a Primary Election, the option to designate a political party ballot or request a non-partisan ballot, if the voter is registered without a political party (aka independent).
A ballot-by-mail (with completed affidavit) must be delivered to the County Recorder, the officer in charge of elections, an official ballot drop-off site, or any voting location in the county no later than 7:00 p.m. on Election Day. A.R.S. §§ 16-547(C);16-551(C).
The 7:00 p.m. return deadline also applies to UOCAVA (military and/or overseas voters) ballots, regardless of the method of transmission to the election official, unless the UOCAVA return deadline is extended pursuant to emergency procedures.
Counties that establish ballot drop-off locations or drop-boxes must also implement procedures to ensure the security of the drop-off location and/or drop-boxes and comply with the following requirements.
- A ballot drop-off location or drop-box shall be located in a secure location, such as inside or in front of a federal, state, local, or tribal government building. All ballot drop-off locations and drop-boxes shall be approved by the Board of Supervisors (or designee).
- The County Recorder or officer in charge of elections shall publicly post a listing of designated drop-off locations and drop-boxes on their website.
- All drop-boxes shall be clearly and visibly marked as an official ballot drop-box and secured by a lock and/or sealable with a tamper-evident seal. Only an election official or designated ballot retriever shall have access to the keys and/or combination of the lock to remove the deposited ballots.
- All drop-boxes (both staffed and unstaffed) shall have an opening slot that is not large enough to allow deposited ballots to be removed through the opening slot.
- Ballot drop-off locations and drop-boxes shall be locked and covered or otherwise made unavailable to the public until the 27th day prior to an election to ensure that no ballots or any other materials may be deposited before the early voting period begins. Prior to use on the 27th day before the election, all drop-boxes shall be inspected for damage and to ensure they are empty.
- All drop-boxes shall be locked and covered or otherwise made unavailable after the polls have closed on Election Day to ensure that no ballots may be dropped off after the close of the polls.
In-Person Early Voting
Your County Recorder must establish on-site early voting at the County Recorder's office during the early voting period. A County Recorder may also establish additional in-person early voting locations throughout the county as practicable to ensure that all voters may reasonably access at least one early voting location. A.R.S. §§ 16-246(C); 16-542(A).
When voting early in-person, the voter must cast the ballot issued at the voting location and may not remove that ballot from the location. An early ballot must be issued even if the voter previously requested or received a ballot-by-mail, but only the first ballot received and verified by the County Recorder will be counted.
Voters must present valid ID in order to vote early in-person. Early in-person voting starts 27 days before and runs until the Friday before Election Day. Visit your County Recorder's website for more information: County Election Contact Information
"Emergency" means any unforeseen circumstance that would prevent the voter from voting at the polls. Qualified electors who experience an emergency between 5:00 p.m. on the Friday preceding the election and 5:00 p.m. on the Monday preceding the election may request to vote at an emergency voting center in the manner prescribed by the Board of Supervisors of their respective county. A.R.S. § 16-542(H). Visit your County Elections Department website for more information about Emergency voting for a given election: County Election Contact Information
Special Election Boards
A qualified elector who is confined because of a continuing illness or disability may vote using a ballot-by-mail or by making a verbal or written request to have a special election board personally deliver a ballot to the elector's residence or other place of confinement. Such requests must be made by 5:00 p.m. on the second Friday before the election. A.R.S. § 16-549(C). Contact your County Recorder to make the request: County Election Contact Information
If you qualify for a special election board and need assistance after the deadline, please contact your County Recorder to learn if they can assist you. A.R.S. § 16-549(D).
Before receiving a ballot from a special election board, a voter who requests a special election board after the second Friday before the election must:
- Provide identification as prescribed by A.R.S. § 16-579.
- Sign a statement under penalty of perjury containing substantially the following language: "I declare under penalty of perjury that I am experiencing or have experienced an emergency after 5:00 p.m. on the second Friday preceding the election and before 5:00 p.m. on the Monday immediately preceding the election that will prevent me from voting at a polling place on Election Day."
- Such signed statements are not subject to public inspection.
Eligible Voters in Jail or Detention Facilities
Individuals held in pretrial detention or serving a sentence for a misdemeanor conviction remain eligible to register and vote (assuming no other deficiencies in eligibility). County Recorders may coordinate with the county sheriff's office, jail or detention facilities, the county public defender's office, and other appropriate stakeholders to develop and implement reasonable procedures to facilitate the receipt and return of a ballot-by-mail by eligible voters held in jail or detention facilities. Such procedures may include coordinating a means for secure and effective delivery and return of ballots-by-mail for those in custody and/or the use of special election boards as permitted by law.