If you are like me, you have probably taken notice of more people on the road at all times of day and more out of state license plates. The Census Bureau reported that between April 1, 2020, to July 1, 2021, Maricopa County added more new residents than any county in the nation. And just this August Arizona State University alone reported that this year about 5,315 new first-year, on-campus students are from other states.
As the voter education manager with Clean Elections, these population changes since the last Arizona midterm election have caught my attention. Our electoral system—the foundation that differentiates our country from many others—performs at its best when all eligible voters participate. There are enough stressors that come with relocating, registering to vote and participating in elections shouldn’t be one of them.
If you moved to Arizona to attend a university or community college, voting in the upcoming midterm elections will take a little planning but there is still time. Voting-eligible college students need to decide where they consider their permanent residence – is it your new dorm in Arizona or your parent’s house back in your home state? The key is to only register in one state, but keep in mind your state’s residency requirements for both voter registration and tuition/scholarships.
If you are registered to vote in Arizona, there are many options to when and how to cast a ballot. More than 80 percent of Arizona’s voters participate in early voting. Ballots are mailed to voters starting Oct. 12. If you prefer to vote in person, you can find your voting location with a pin drop in the Clean Elections Voter Dashboard. Registered voters can show up on Election Day, Nov. 8 at their voting location to cast a ballot or drop off their early ballot.
Embrace Arizona by getting involved in your new community and participating in local elections. For more information regarding elections, important dates, candidate debates and more please visit us online at AZcleanelections.gov.
Queen Creek resident Avery Xola is the Voter Education Manager for the Citizens Clean Elections Commission, responsible for educating Arizonans on the electoral process. Avery holds a political science degree from Arizona State University and a master's degree in Public Administration from the Watts College of Public Service & Community Solutions. He was selected as a 2022 Flinn Brown Fellow. He is an Air Force veteran and a published writer.