Voting is the foundation of any democratic society. The United States of America has always led the way in defining this most sacred and fundamental right, ensuring that every vote is counted. Today, more than ever, with all the misinformation, postal delays and concerns over voting in person during a pandemic, it’s imperative to have a plan to protect our votes.
How ever you vote, making sure it is counted is all that matters. Here are some ways to guarantee that happens.
Register to vote or update your registration
The deadline to register to vote for the 2020 General Election is midnight on October 5th, 2020. Please read the requirements here for what is required to register as well as the variety of methods you can do so.
If you have moved, changed your name, or need to update your voter registration in any way, you can also follow the link below to submit any adjustments by October 5th, 2020.
Absentee/mail-in ballot information
To avoid any confusion, absentee ballots are the same as mail-in ballots. The terms are often used interchangeably, but they are the same. Refer to this resource for a more detailed breakdown of why there are different terms.
When will I receive my mail-in ballot?
The Recorder’s Office starts mailing ballots to voters on Wednesday, October 7, 2020. If you don’t receive your ballot in the mail by Thursday, October 15th, 2020, call the Recorder’s office (520-724-4330). Please keep in mind that not all household members may receive it on the same day. If you receive your ballot on the later end of that week, consider dropping off your ballot at an early voting site (check below for which early voting locations accept mail-in ballots) or on Election Day to ensure that it is counted.
The Recorder’s Office states not to use a first-class stamp to mail back your ballot as it may cause delays. Use the postage paid envelope that arrives with your mail-in ballot. If you miss the mail-in date, you can also use a paid express service (USPS, FedEx, or UPS, for example) to return your ballot:
FedEx and UPS delivery address:
Pima County Recorder
240 N Stone Ave
Tucson AZ 85701
USPS Express Mail delivery address:
Pima County Recorder
PO Box 3145
Tucson, AZ 85702
Deadlines to return your mail-in ballot
There has been a great deal of news coverage surrounding USPS processing adjustments and system overload due to COVID-19 that may compromise the processing time of mail-in ballots. Regardless of the news cycle, to ensure your vote is counted return your mail-in ballot as early as possible.
If you wait until the last day available to request a mail-in ballot (which is 11 days prior to the election in Arizona), due to mail processing times there is no guarantee that your ballot will be returned and counted by the necessary time (7p.m. on Election Day). Consider dropping off your ballot at an early voting site or curbside ballot drop off location on Election Day.
You can request a mail-in ballot using the link below, call the Registrar’s Office (520-724-4330), or submit a written request. Please keep in mind the latest date to request a mail-in ballot is 11 days prior to the November 3rd election.
If you opt to return your mail-in ballot by mail. You can track its status below.
If you have requested a mail-in ballot, going to a polling location and voting a provisional ballot can slow down the process. If you do cast a provisional ballot, you can track your vote here. Instead of casting a provisional ballot, you can drop off your mail-in ballot at select early voting sites or at any polling site or curbside drop off site on Election Day without a delay in having your vote counted.
Voting from out of state
If you are voting from out of state for the General Election, you can request your ballot be sent to your temporary address or call 520-724-4330. The Pima County Recorder’s Office recommends that mail-in ballots from out of state be returned by mail no later than October 20th, 2020 to ensure they are received in time. Ballots must be received by 7 p.m. on November 3rd, 2020.
If you prefer to vote in person early in Pima County, early voting starts October 7th, 2020 at select locations. There are various ways you can go about casting your vote:
- There are 3 Early Voting Sites for in-person voting and inside ballot drop-off open Wednesday, October 7, 2020.
- 8 curbside ballot drop-off only sites open Monday, October 19, 2020.
- 11 Early Voting Sites open for in-person voting, inside ballot drop-off, and curbside ballot drop-off on Monday, October 26, 2020.
Don’t assume you know your polling location, even if it has been the same place for years. The nearest polling location to your home may not be your polling site. Check below for the most updated information (or call 520-724-4330).
Curbside drop off on Election Day
If you receive your mail-in ballot later than expected or prefer to drop it off to avoid any potential mail delays, reference the list of curbside locations where you can submit your ballot on Election Day.
Vote in person
Voting in person can be done at select early voting locations or on Election Day- November 3rd, 2020. Check your polling location to make sure you are able to cast your vote. Read these FAQs provided by the Recorder’s Office to understand the identification requirements at the polls.
Countless souls have paid the ultimate price to protect our democracy and right to a free and fair election where everyone has the ability to be heard. Today, that freedom is in jeopardy. Elections have consequences. Each of us has the ability to impact what those will be. However you vote, please vote.