Maricopa County is preparing for historic turnout, expanding voter access and implementing safety measures for the November General Election. County officials outlined their election plans today at the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors meeting.
Due to the impact of COVID-19, the revised election model — developed under the leadership of Scott Jarrett and Rey Valenzuela, both directors of the Maricopa County Elections Department — is designed to provide voters with a safe, accessible, secure, and transparent November General Election.
Voters have the option to request a ballot in the mail or vote in person at any location open Oct. 7-Nov. 3.
“Because of the need for physical distancing and heightened safety protocols, voting locations may have moved, but we are expanding access through a Vote Center model. Voters may now choose from any voting location, rather than just one assigned location,” said Scott Jarrett, Director of Election Day and Emergency Voting with the Maricopa County Elections Department. “These large locations will also be able to check in more voters at a time, and are located across the county, including on tribal land and in rural areas to ensure in-person voting continues to be an option for all communities.”
Close to 78 percent of Maricopa County’s nearly 2.5 million registered voters have already requested a ballot in the mail. Voters have the option to return their early ballot by mail by Oct. 27 or drop it off at any Vote Center or secure ballot drop box by 7 p.m. on Election Day.
The Elections Department is also adding new, drive through drop boxes in the parking lots of sport stadiums across the county. Voters will be able to return completed ballots in their signed and sealed green affidavit envelope from the comfort of their car.
Trained staff will work at all drive through drop boxes, and will deliver the sealed envelopes to the Elections Department nightly, tracking the chain of custody and keeping ballots secure. Drive through drop box locations are open on Oct. 24 and Oct. 31-Nov. 3. Find sites and hours of operation at Locations.Maricopa.Vote.
“Maricopa County has been providing every voter with the option to request a ballot in the mail since 1996. We have layers of oversight to ensure only valid ballots are counted,” said Rey Valenzuela, Director of Early Voting and Election Services with the Maricopa County Elections Department. “We plan to make sure that no matter what option voters choose; it’s safe, accessible and secure.”
The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors approved the Election Day and Emergency Voting Plan at the Sept. 16 meeting.
The voter registration deadline for the General Election is October 5. Voters can find out where to vote, see what’s on their ballot, sign up to vote by mail and more at BeBallotReady.Vote.