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7:41 AM Tue, Jan. 22nd

Arizona voters face many choices

PHOENIX - Arizona voters face dozens of choices in Tuesday's General Election, with a hotly contested U.S. Senate race among the many contests between candidates but also decisions on 19 statewide ballot measures.

Arizonans also will elect a governor and other statewide officials and federal and state lawmakers. Many local jurisdictions also had offices and spending issues on their ballots.

Polls will be open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday.

Because of the length of the ballot, election officials worried about long lines advised voters to make their choices before going to polling places.

Election officials also urged voters with early ballots to put them in the mail no later than today or to simply drop them off at polling places on Tuesday.

Early ballots must be received by election offices by Tuesday night to be counted, but the process of counting those ballots could take days.

The General Election will be the second statewide application of a 2004 law requiring voters to provide certain types of identification when voting at polling places. Voters without government-issued photo ID with their names and address or two other pieces of specified, non-photo ID with the same information can cast "conditional provisional ballots" but later must take the required identification to an elections office for that ballot to be counted.

On the federal level, Republican Sen. Jon Kyl faced a challenge from Democrat Jim Pederson in a race that saw both candidates splash ads across the airwaves.

Meanwhile, incumbents were running for re-election to seven of Arizona's eight seats in the U.S. House of Representatives.

The exception was the 8th Congressional District in southeastern Arizona where Republican incumbent Jim Kolbe was not seeking re-election.

On the state level, the headline race was for the governor's office, with Republican Len Munsil trying to thwart Democratic incumbent Janet Napolitano's bid for a second four-year term.

Other state offices up for grabs included secretary of state, attorney general, treasurer, superintendent of public instruction and two seats on the Arizona Corporation Commission.

All 90 seats in the Arizona Legislature - 30 in the Senate, 60 in the House - are on the ballot for two-year terms, but some candidates faced no opposition Tuesday.

Aside from candidates, ballot issues facing voters ranged from marriage and state trust land to smoking in workplaces and the minimum wage.

Other topics included a proposed voter reward lottery, living space for livestock, municipal finances and pay raises for lawmakers.