This year’s general election Nov. 3 has become a bit complicated due to the viral pandemic and changes in the United States Postal Service, as well as to the usual efforts of the political parties to sway your vote.
The League of Women Voters endorses voting by mail. Arizona has a proud history of safe, secure and reliable voting by mail. This year COVID-19 has made it is an especially good option for voters who must remain safe. Here are some facts regarding voting by mail in Arizona.
Registered voters can opt to vote by mail only for the Nov. 3 election; or they can opt to join the Permanent Early Voting List and receive a ballot for every election, delivered by the USPS. You must arrange for either voting method by Wednesday, Oct. 7, the day when ballots will be mailed to voters. LWV recommends signing up for ballot by mail as soon as possible, allowing plenty of time after receiving your mailed ballot to mark and sign it, return it and to have it counted by election day.
Your ballot cannot be counted without your signature. Be sure to sign the outer postage-paid envelope before returning your ballot to your county elections department. Ideally, your signature will closely match the one on your voter registration or on other government documents. If trained experts are uncertain of its authenticity, they will contact you, using the phone number you have provided on the envelope.
Your ballot must be received by the elections department by 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 3. If returning your ballot by mail, LWV recommends that you mark, sign and return your ballot by Friday, Oct. 23, giving the USPS a full 11 days to deliver it to be counted. Other ways to return your ballot include using a secure drop box, delivering it to an Early Vote Center between Wednesday, Oct. 7 and Tuesday, Nov. 3, and delivering it to any polling place Nov. 3. Locations of drop boxes and voting polling places are given on the websites below.
To learn more about voting by mail in Maricopa County, go to one of these websites — BeBallotReady.Vote, AZSOS.gov/elections, vote411.org or AzCleanElections.gov.
To track the progress of you ballot through the system, text JOIN to 628-683 to sign up.
The League of Women Voters has been working for 100 years, since American women achieved the vote, protecting our democracy by protecting the right of every citizen to vote. LWV is non-partisan; its members will never endorse a candidate. Instead, the League works to empower voters with information on issues and to educate citizens about their voting rights.
Your vote is your voice in this democracy of ours. Now is the time to use it.
Editor’s Note: Martha Thmpson is League of Women Voters of Northwest Maricopa County voter services chairwoman.