Secretary of State Clarifies Voting Process for Independents, Aims to Improve Understanding Across All Voter Groups

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PHOENIX – Yesterday, the Secretary of State's Office took proactive steps to ensure that all voters, especially those registered as "independent", understand their voting rights and the ways to participate in the upcoming July 30 Primary election. The office sent out a detailed e-mail to all registered voters in Arizona’s 13 rural counties that are part of the Access Voter Information Database (AVID) voter registration system, focusing initially on independent voters.
 
This message outlined how independent voters could request a ballot. To avoid any confusion and to ensure that all voter groups are equally informed, a follow-up email will be sent today to voters registered with recognized political parties. This message confirms their voting status and advises them to verify their voter registration and Active Early Voting List (AEVL) status on the my.arizona.vote portal. Voters already registered with a recognized political party in the state are automatically eligible to vote in the July 30 Primary election.
 
Secretary of State Adrian Fontes stressed the importance of clear and accessible voter education, especially for independent voters who face additional steps to participate in primary elections. 
 
“A voter approved initiative gave independent voters the right to vote in Arizona’s primary many years ago, but this process is still confusing to many people and requires independent voters to jump through extra hoops to exercise their right,” states Secretary Fontes. “In Presidential election years, it is particularly confusing since independent voters are not allowed by law to vote in the Presidential Preference Election.”
 
Secretary Fontes will continue to raise awareness around the specific challenges that arise in presidential election years, during which independent voters are not permitted by law to vote in the Presidential Preference Election. "It’s crucial that we communicate these distinctions clearly to all voters to ensure they are fully prepared and confident in participating in our democratic processes," he added.
 
Election officials across the state are encouraged to amplify their educational efforts and provide all necessary support to Arizona voters.

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Aaron Thacker
Communications Director