Calling all millennials: It’s your turn to vote

Time to set the record straight – millennials do vote. While 18- to 29-year-olds don’t vote as much as those 30 years and up, a glimpse into the last few election cycles points out the youth vote did increase in 2004 and again in 2008. And from 2008 to 2012, the share of young voters […]

Arizona adds online system to submit 2016 ballot measure arguments

In advance of the July 7, 2016, filing deadline for initiative and referendum petitions, Arizona Secretary of State Michele Reagan has announced statements of support or opposition to this year’s ballot measures can now be submitted online.  By statute, the deadline to submit an argument is no later than 48 days preceding the primary election, […]

Secretary of state calls long voter lines in Maricopa County ‘completely unacceptable’

Mayor Greg Stanton today asked U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch to investigate the widespread voting delays at polling places in Maricopa County during Tuesday’s Arizona presidential preference election. The decision by Maricopa County elections officials to significantly reduce the number of polling sites disproportionately impacted minority communities in Phoenix, Stanton said. The lines to vote were longest in Phoenix, which is a majority minority city.

“Throughout the county, but especially in Phoenix, thousands of citizens waited in line for three, four, and even five hours to vote,” said Stanton, in a letter to Lynch sent this afternoon. “Many more simply could not afford to wait that long, and went home. This is unacceptable anywhere in the United States, and I am angry that County elections officials allowed it to happen in my city.”

Stanton said Tuesday’s “fiasco” was not an isolated incident. His letter to the Department of Justice listed several other examples of anti-voter policies in Arizona that have invalidated tens of thousands of votes in recent elections, and a newly passed law that makes criminals out of volunteers and friends who assist voters by delivering sealed and signed early ballots to the polls for voters who can’t do so on their own.

What good is an election if one-third can’t vote?

As presidential primaries and caucuses begin around the country, I have proposed making this the last time the state runs the presidential preference election, which costs the state nearly $10 million and bars one-third of voters from participating.

Unlike any other election in Arizona, the PPE (on March 22) precludes so-called “independent” voters from participating. Instead, only registered members of the state’s recognized political parties participating in the election may cast a ballot.

Since day one, our mission has been to do everything we can to improve voter participation.

We’ve asked ourselves if it really makes any sense for Arizona to spend nearly $10 million on an election where the largest block of voters cannot participate. We’re proposing the legislature repeal the PPE and return to the days where the parties ran their own presidential primaries.

By returning control of national convention delegate section to the parties we are empowering them to decide for themselves the best way forward.

Parties might conduct an internet election, a mail ballot open to all Arizonans or adopt an Iowa-style caucus. The PPE is about parties doing party business and they should do what they think is best for their members.

In addition to the elimination of the election itself, the bill (HB2567) requests the legislature to supplement last year’s appropriation with $6 million dollars to cover the remaining state and local costs expenses related to the 2016 PPE.

The registration deadline for the presidential preference election is Feb. 22, with early voting to begin on Feb. 24.

For more registration information go online.

Michele Reagan
Arizona Secretary of State

Independents will have to switch party affiliation to vote in March 22 election

2016 marks the first time Arizona will hold four state elections, according to Secretary of State Michele Reagan. But not all registered voters will be able to vote in all four.

Arizona law prohibits independent voters from casting their ballot in the presidential preference election, which is scheduled for March 22, Ms. Reagan said, and one of her missions over the next month is to spread the word about how independent voters can temporarily change their party affiliation so they can have a say in that election.

The secretary of state was the guest speaker Jan. 13 at a luncheon hosted by the Rotary Club of Superstition Mountains in Gold Canyon.

“We are trying to make it as easy as possible to switch to a major party before an election and then switch back to independent afterward,” the secretary of state told the 60 Rotarians and their guests in attendance.

Independents comprise the No. 1 voters group in Arizona, according to the report “Who Is Arizona’s Independent Voter?” published in November by the Morrison Institute for Public Policy at Arizona State University. In March 2014 for the first time, the proportion of registered Arizona voters declaring themselves as independents exceeded the proportion citing their political party preference as either Democratic or Republican, according to the report.

The most recent roster has 37 percent — or 1.219 million — of registered Arizona voters declared as independents; 34 percent — or 1.115 million — as Republicans; and 28 percent — or 932,722 — as Democrats, according to State of Arizona Registration Report released in October by Ms. Reagan’s office.

Secretary of state to host campaign finance workshop Dec. 2

Arizona Secretary of State Michele Reagan will host a campaign finance workshop for candidates and their treasurers on Wednesday, Dec. 2. It will take place 2-4 p.m. inside the 1891 Courthouse, 135 N. Pinal St. in Florence.

Members from the secretary of state’s office will offer presentations on Arizona campaign finance laws and campaign finance reporting requirements will provide information for the upcoming 2016 primary and general elections. Political committees that file campaign finance reports with the secretary of state must do so electronically.

There is no charge to participate in this workshop. Registration is not required.

For more information, call Ms. Reagan’s office at 602-542-4285 or 800-458-5842.

Secretary of State Reagan to visit Gold Canyon Oct. 10

Arizona Secretary of State Michele Reagan will be the guest speaker at a meeting of the Gold Canyon Republicans Club Saturday, Oct. 10, in Gold Canyon. The meeting will begin at 9 a.m. in the MountainBrook Village residential community’s Sunset Center, 5782 S. Mountain Brook Drive.

The event is open to the public.

Ms. Reagan is expected to provide an overview of the duties of her office, among other topics, event organizer Pam Burks said.

Pinal County Supervisor Todd House (District 5) also will address the attendees.

For more information, call Ms. Burks at 480-267-2286.