Arizona 2022 midterm election voter guide
Figuring out when to register, where to sign up and who to vote for isn’t always easy
Step 1: Remember to register to vote!
Election Day falls on Tuesday, Nov. 8. To be eligible to vote, make sure you’re registered by Oct. 11. The best way to do this is by visiting the Arizona Department of Transportation website’s voter registration portal at: Arizona Voter Registration – ServiceArizona – ADOT & MVD Services. It’s also a good idea to double-check your registration status if you haven’t voted in a while; if your status has been classified as inactive, you might have to reregister. Visit the Secretary of State’s voter registration search portal to make sure: Voter Registration Search (arizona.vote). Voters who can’t verify their registration status online should contact their county recorders directly.
Feeling lost? How to find where to go or how to get a mailed ballot
Arizonans can vote in person starting Oct. 12 or wait until Election Day. Polling places and voting centers can be found by inputting your address into the Secretary of State’s voting location website portal at: Search by address (arizona.vote) or by visiting your county’s elections website. Early in-person voting begins Oct. 12 and ends at 5 p.m. Nov. 4. For both early and Election Day in-person voting you’ll need some proof of identity to receive a ballot.
To get your ballot in the mail, you can either sign up for the Active Early Voter List to receive them automatically for every election you’re eligible for via ADOT’s registration portal or request a one-time mailed ballot from your county recorder’s office. The cutoff date for both is 5 p.m. Oct. 28, to make sure you receive the ballot in time to vote and submit it. To ensure your mailed ballot is counted, take it to a dropbox, county recorder’s office, or voting center by 7 p.m. on Election Day or send it in the mail by Nov. 1.
Who’s on my ballot and what are they known for?
A number of top state offices are up for grabs this election season, and few of them are without controversy.
Current Gov. Doug Ducey has completed his second term in office and is unable to run again. Republican Kari Lake and Democrat Katie Hobbs are vying for the office, instead. Lake, previously a TV news anchor, is an outspoken supporter of the baseless claim that the 2020 election was stolen from former President Donald Trump and has tried to ban mail-in voting and voting machines, falsely claiming they’re susceptible to fraud. The Democrat contender, Hobbs, is currently the Secretary of State and previously served as a state legislator. Last year, Hobbs was lambasted after Talonya Adams, a Black legislative staffer won her racial and sex discrimination case against the state Senate after she was fired for complaining that her white, male colleagues were paid significantly more for similar work. Hobbs was involved in her termination. Recently, a gubernatorial debate between the two became a single person interview for Lake when Hobbs refused to participate.
The Attorney General enforces civil rights laws, advises state agencies and officials on legal matters and represents the state in civil suits. Republican Abraham Hamadeh is a Trump-endorsed candidate who has previously said he wouldn’t have certified the 2020 presidential election. Hamadeh has adopted a Trumpian hard-line stance on immigration, despite the fact that his own father overstayed an immigrant visa and faced an order of deportation. Democrat opponent Kris Mayes has said that, if elected, she would not prosecute women or doctors for violating abortion restrictions in a post-Roe Arizona. Hamadeh has stated support for Arizona’s pre-statehood ban that criminalizes doctors and includes no exceptions for rape or incest.
Secretary of State
The contest for the state’s top elections position is between Mark Finchem, previously a state legislator, and Adrian Fontes who served as the Maricopa County Recorder from 2017 through 2021. Finchem has built his brand around election conspiracy theories, joining a lawsuit with gubernatorial candidate Lake to ban voting machines and sponsored a legislative resolution to decertify the 2020 election results in Arizona.
During the 2020 Primary election, Fontes was criticized by state officials for an attempt to send voters mailed ballots instead of allowing them to visit the polls, citing concerns about COVID-19. Officials disagreed, calling it an attempt to rewrite state election laws that would only confuse voters. In 2017, amid criticism, he hired extra staff members to verify and re-register voters who were initially rejected for insufficient proof of citizenship.
Incumbent Democrat Sen. Mark Kelly, elected to fill the seat left open after the death of U.S. Sen. John McCain, is running against Republican candidate Blake Masters. Masters, who has since walked back some stances, previously called for a federal “personhood” law to ban abortion nationwide, and campaigned on the promise that he would vote to confirm judges who will strike down federal protections for contraception.
Public Schools Superintendent
The position to oversee the more than one million public school students in the state is up for reelection this year. Current Superintendent Kathy Hoffman, a Democrat, is running against Republican Tom Horne, who served in the office from 2003 through 2011. Horne announced his campaign last year, vowing to do away with bilingual education and critical race theory, which has become a catch-all GOP term to describe any discussion of race in classrooms. Horne was recently embroiled in scandal after his friendship with former state Rep. David Stringer was revealed. Stringer resigned from the legislature in 2019 after past sex-crime charges, including child pornography and allegations of sexual contact with two minors, came to light.
Election websites by county
Where county recorders post election results, lists of local polling locations, contact details for requesting mailed ballots or verifying voter registrations and information about county-specific elections and ballot initiatives.
This story is part of a project called Democracy Day, in which newsrooms across the country are shining a light on threats to democracy.
This report was first published by the Arizona Mirror.