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Arizona voters should know how to stay registered for the 2022 election, and state officials want to help

Voters in Arizona should know their voting rights and the laws that can impede them from completing their civic duty for the next election season, according to state officials and voter registration workers.

Arizona has approved new laws that can expand the purge of voters, which makes it harder to stay on voter rolls, and can impose stricter signature requirements for mail-in election ballots.

Because of this, it’s important to ensure that your election information comes from verified websites and social media accounts of elected officials, because it’s trustworthy, Katie Hobbs, the Arizona Secretary of State, said at a virtual registration event.

“With new election laws and proposed bills, it’s more important now than ever that voters are aware of the changes that they should expect in the next year and what they need to know to ensure that their voices are heard,” Hobbs said.

In the 2020 elections, more than 3.42 million votes were cast for the Arizona general election.

After the largest voter turnout of the century in the 2020 elections, many states have changed their voting rules. Some see the changes as restrictive, and others as a way to secure the vote.

With so many changes, the virtual events are meant to help voters stay registered for 2022 and for those who are going to turn 18 and register for the first time.

The Secretary of State and the County Recorder’s office provide voter registration services and update their community events website. Their website arizona.vote will be updated during the 2022 elections.

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“I like to remind people that democracy is a team sport,” Hobbs said. “Keeping elections fair, secure and transparent requires the dedication of countless people.”

A problem with voting is not updating the information for the County Recorder’s officer. If someone has moved, it’s important to inform the office. To make sure voter registration is updated, information can be verified at recorder.maricopa.gov/beballotready.

According to SB 1003, “the ballot will not be counted without the signature of the voter on the envelope” and “if the signature is missing, the County Recorder or another election official will make reasonable efforts to contact the voter, notifying the voter of the missing signature and allow the voter to add the voter’s signature as late as 7:00 pm on Election Day.”

If a voter doesn’t vote in an early ballot in all the elections during two consecutive election cycles, as established by SB 1485, to stay on the early voter list, the voters must confirm in writing the voter’s desire to stay on the list; and return the completed and signed notice with the address and date of birth of the voter.

SB 1819 says that the state of Arizona has the right to eliminate names from registration lists if they feel that a person is no longer eligible after registering to vote.

A person cannot vote in Arizona if they have been declared incapacitated by law or have been convicted of a felony and have not had their civil rights restored.

There are many groups that now work to educate voters about the changes and their rights.

Anusha Natarajan, a member of the Andrew Goodman Foundation and an undergraduate at Arizona State University, likes to help her community and wants “to make sure that people have their right to make their voice heard.”

Natarajan said, “one of the programs that the Andrew Goodman Foundation has is the ‘Vote Everywhere Ambassador Program,’ which are university teams that work together to incorporate civic engagement initiatives throughout the university.”

They also hold “discussion sessions about the Electoral College, just so people understand what it is and how (it works), what will happen to their vote,” Natarajan explained.
Natarajan said: “I think that it’s also important to clear up misconceptions… So yes, I think there’s a lot of work to do.”

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Ulisses Correa, a voter registration campaign manager for Mi Familia Vota, explains the efforts they have made to register people to vote.

“We did a lot of events at high schools because we know that there are many Latinos that don’t know about voter registration,” Correa said. Before COVID, MFV would offer a concert for the high school that registered the most students to vote. The artists included Virlan García and Jonathan Sánchez.

Correa says that scrutiny is another great tactic that they use. “We’re going to knock on doors and register them and inform them about what’s happening in elections.”

The requirements to vote in Arizona are to be a U.S. citizen, a resident of Arizona and of the county where registered and to be 18 years of age or older on the day of the next regular general election or before.

Online voting registration is also available. If you have an Arizona driver’s license or an inoperative Arizona ID card, you can register online at arizona.vote.

A person who presents valid proof of citizenship with their voter registration form has the right to vote in all federal, state, county and local elections in which they are eligible. A person is not required to present proof of citizenship with the voter registration form, but failure to do so means that the person will only be eligible to vote in federal elections.

Voting options include early voting in person or on Election Day and mailing to deliver an early voting ballot.

To sign up for the permanent early voting lists or to request a one-time ballot by mail, visit azsos.gov/votebymail. For more information about elections, visit azcleanelections.gov.

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Pollsters go to ASU campuses and verify that people are registered to vote and provide additional information.

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