More than ten thousand Arizonans work together to make elections happen.
High voter turnout makes elections a success—4 in 5 voted in 2020!
Elections Work (By the Numbers)
polling places in AZ (many in schools and churches)
Arizonans voted by mail in 2020
Arizonans signed up to be poll workers in the last election
voters set a record for participation in the 2022 primary
AZ law allows voters to drop off their mail ballot at secure drop box locations in their county. Drop boxes help ensure AZ ballots are received in time to be counted.
AZ counties choose which voting systems they use. All systems are regularly tested and certified for accuracy and reliability before and after each election.
AZ has allowed voting by mail since 1918. Republicans expanded the use of mail-in ballots to all eligible voters in 1991. 75% of all AZ voters voted by mail in the last election.
Ballots cast in AZ are subject to strict security and chain of custody requirements. Votes cannot be added, changed, or deleted. Election results are audited for accuracy.
Who Can Vote
Only AZ residents who are U.S. citizens can vote. All registered voters, including independents, can vote in the midterms. AZ election officials are required to regularly update voter registration lists.
Observers are appointed by both parties to observe testing of voting equipment, procedures at polling places, and the counting of votes.
A recount is an extra step—required by Arizona law when the results of an election are very close—to make sure that all legal votes were counted accurately. Under Arizona law, a recount is automatically required if the margin between two candidates is 0.5 percent or less of the total votes cast. Because Arizona determines automatic recounts by law, no campaign or individual can request a separate recount in Arizona.
For over 100 years, Arizona law has allowed voters to return ballots before Election Day. Today, that includes the use of secure drop boxes. Voters of all political party affiliations in Arizona use this method to return their ballots. In the last election, 3 in 4 voters chose to use mail-in ballots returned through either the U.S. Postal Service or hand-delivery to secure drop boxes.
Guidance from Arizona’s Secretary of State requires that drop boxes be in secure, publicly listed locations, visibly marked as an official ballot drop box, secured by a lock or tamper-evident seal with a narrow opening, and have established chain of custody procedures to ensure access is limited to authorized personnel. Arizona voters must return their own ballots unless they authorize a family member, household member, or caregiver to help return their ballot.
Arizona’s voting machines are secure and subjected to regular logic and accuracy tests as required by state law. Arizona’s voting systems are not connected to the internet or other networks. The state uses systems tested and certified by the federal government. Machines are further certified to operate in compliance with state law requirements. Counties regularly invest their federal elections funding into upgrading cyber and physical security of their election systems and voting facilities. In addition, Arizona’s voter registration database is protected by a variety of cybersecurity and threat mitigation safeguards: allowing access only to authorized personnel; threat detection software; database traffic logs; disaster prevention and recovery; and regular security training for election staff. Multiple reviews led by Republicans found no evidence of voting machine manipulation or hacking in 2020.
Some Arizona counties provide voters with quick-drying felt-tip pens, such as Pentel pens and Sharpies, because the ink dries fast and will ensure voters’ ballots are not smudged. It also prevents spots of wet ink that can damage the tabulators that count voters’ ballots. Using these pens does not cancel or invalidate your vote; it is a safeguard to ensure your vote can be processed without delay so voters can receive accurate, secure, and timely election results.
Arizona law provides voters with the freedom to choose how they cast their ballot. This means that voters can decide the method (by mail or in person; early or on Election Day) that best fits their work schedules and caregiving obligations.
Arizona voters who choose to vote by mail are provided a variety of safeguards: tamper-evident envelopes; ballot tracking that enables voters to verify when their ballot has been sent and received; secure drop-off locations; robust signature verification; and criminal penalties for individuals who tamper with ballots, buy votes, or discard or destroy another voter’s ballot.
You can track your ballot online.
Arizona law requires election officials to regularly update voter registration records and remove people who have died from the voter roles. Arizona state and local elections officials use records provided by the Arizona Department of Health Services and the Social Security Administration to perform list maintenance and cancel the registration of deceased voters. In a recent investigation into 282 claims of dead people voting, the Arizona Attorney General found only one ballot cast for a deceased voter, which they stated did not warrant a prosecution given the facts of the case.
All ballots are carefully tracked and protected. Before any ballot is counted, election officials check that the ballot is from a verified current eligible registered voter, who didn’t move or die before Election Day. Using a special tracking system, they also make sure that each voter’s vote is counted only once – and that no other absentee, mail-in, or provisional ballot is counted from that voter.
A person must be a U.S. citizen to register and vote in Arizona. In order to vote in all federal, state, county, and local races and ballot measures in Arizona, voters must submit documentary proof of citizenship. Anyone voting in a federal election must affirm their U.S. citizenship under penalty of perjury.
Arizona’s GOP House Speaker, Rusty Bowers, testified under oath there was no fraud, and he believed requests by Trump’s team to support overturning the Arizona election results were a violation of his oath. Donald Trump’s Attorney General, Bill Barr investigated and found no evidence of widespread fraud. Ivanka Trump testified under oath that she believed Barr was correct. Over 60 court cases (many with judges appointed by President Trump) and numerous investigations have found no evidence of fraud that would affect the outcome of the 2020 election. No claims of substantial election fraud have survived legal scrutiny, and many were dismissed as meritless by Trump-appointed judges.
The Cyber Ninjas is a group hired by Arizona Senate President Karen Fann to conduct an audit of the 2020 election ballots in Maricopa County. That review lasted until Sept 2021 and cost $9 million. Ultimately, the Cyber Ninjas’ review confirmed once again that Joe Biden won the 2020 election in Arizona.
Some false information is shared by people who don’t realize it isn’t accurate, but some false information is being spread intentionally to deceive people. Why would someone want to intentionally spread lies? Unfortunately, there are a lot of reasons. Some people have found they can make a lot of money. Politicians get a lot of media attention. Some candidates just don’t want to accept they lost. Some who spread false claims work for foreign governments, like China and Iran, that want to undermine trust in our democratic systems and hurt our country. Some are trying to justify passing new laws to make it harder to vote or easier to overturn election results for their political advantage.
Keep asking this question! Most people who share misinformation do so before considering whether what they are sharing is true. Lies about voting and elections can be particularly difficult to spot. A few things to look for: is a story or claim believable? does it come from a source you know is credible? does it cause a strong emotional response? does it come with a request for money? If the answers make you suspicious, you might want to look for an alternative, trusted source.
“The U.S. Justice Department has uncovered NO evidence of widespread voter fraud that could change the outcome of the 2020 election.”
Attorney General William Barr