Thursday, June 12, 2008

Voter Information Bulletin: Arizona's Open Primary

FLORENCE – Candidates for election have filed their petitions, which means the election season is off and running.  The Primary election is Tuesday, September 2.  On that day, voters will decide who will appear on the final November ballot for national, state and local offices.

Pinal County Recorder Laura Dean-Lytle says that people are still asking questions about the Open Primary law enacted by the voters in 1998. 

According to Arizona Secretary of State Jan Brewer's guide for candidates and political committees:

"Arizona's Open Primary Law allows voters registered as independent, no party preference or members of a party without ballot recognition to vote in the partisan Primary Election of their choice of one of the recognized political parties [Ariz. Const. Art. VII, § 10].  Voters who are registered with a recognized political party will receive their political party's early ballot."  (page 10, section D)


"What this means is if you are registered as a voter for one of the four recognized political parties – Democrat, Green, Libertarian or Republican – you will get the primary ballot for races featuring that party's candidates for office," Dean-Lytle said.  "If you are registered as an Independent or another party, you may request any of the ballots.  The only exception is that the Libertarian Party ballot is for that party only."

A 2007 federal court decision ruled that only registered members of the Libertarian Party may vote in that party's primary contest.

County Recorder Laura Dean-Lytle says her office is looking forward to what should be a busy primary and general election season.

"Our voter registration staff is already receiving calls," Dean-Lytle said.  "People are asking questions from how to register to vote, to the dates for early balloting."

"Since this is a presidential election we should see sharply higher voter turnout," County Recorder Dean-Lytle said.  "Interest has been high since February's Presidential Preference Election."

For more information on voter registration or early voting please call the Pinal County Citizen Contact Center at 520-509-3555 or 888-431-1131.