PHOENIX – A report about voter participation in Arizona by the Citizens Clean Elections Commission says that more than half of Arizona voters forgo voting in the Primary Election. Deadlines to request a ballot for the Primary today and Primary Election Day on Aug. 28, it means that there is a need to increase awareness among voters about dismal numbers and to ignite participation.
“We have an opportunity right now to reverse a negative trend in voter participation in our state,” Tom Collins, Arizona Clean Elections executive director said.
Collins adds that the report says, only one in five eligible voters cast a ballot in the Arizona Primary.
Low participation in the primaries is concerning because these races often serve as the decisive election for congress and the legislature. The participation trend doesn’t bode well for elected representation that reflects the broader population.
Highlights from the report include:
• The majority of voters who participate in the Primary Election are between 50 and 70 years old.
• Less than 1 million of Arizona’s 4.7 million potential voters (eligible voters of both the registered and non-registered variety) cast a ballot in the Primary Election.
• Many Independent voters, the second largest voting block in the state, don’t know that they can vote in the Primary Election. Some even believe it will impact their status as an Independent which is not true.
Reasons for not participating in the elections are varied but one consistent theme that surfaces from voter focus groups conducted by the CCEC is lack of time and confusion on the process.
These reasons are why the CCEC has developed easy-to-use education materials for every type of voter, whether they are newly registered or a “veteran” voter. Summaries of these tools can aid people leading up to the Primary Election on Aug. 28 and beyond.
Entering a home address, at the CCEC Dashboard, https://www.azcleanelections.gov/en/how-government-works/voter-crisis, instantly informs voters of their corresponding districts, names of candidates, important dates and polling locations.
Entering a candidates name on the CCEC candidate compass, https://www.azcleanelections.gov/en/arizona-elections/candidate-compass, gives voters an overview of where they stand on certain issues.
The CCEC Online ID Quiz, https://www.azcleanelections.gov/en/how-to-vote/what-id-do-i-need-at-the-polls, online tool guides voters through a self-assessment to assure voters have the correct identification when they do vote at the polls.
The Arizona Primary Elections: Primarily Forgotten, report by Morrison Institute for Public Policy is part of a statewide voter education/engagement project in collaboration with the Arizona Citizens Clean Elections Commission.
The findings, outlined by ASU Morrison Institute in their report, Arizona Primary Elections: Primarily Forgotten is now available on the CCEC website at https://www.azcleanelections.gov/en/how-government-works/voter-crisis.
Information provided by the Citizens Clean Elections Commission