What Students Need to Know About Voting

We’ve put a lot of info on this page, so scroll through and pick and choose what applies to you. At the top, we talk about voter registration and later we get into how and where to vote and some general stuff about voting.

How do I register to vote?

Answer

  • If you have an Arizona Driver’s ID with the address which matches where you currently live, use Service Arizona. You can also update the address on your driver’s license at that site.
  • If your Arizona Driver’s license does not match where you currently live, use this downloadable paper form.
  • If you have an Out-of-State ID, use the paper form to register.  You will also have to provide Proof of Citizenship to the County Recorder’s Office. 
    • If you have a Driver’s ID from MI, MN, NY, VT, and WA, that is an acceptable proof of citizenship.
    • For other states or if you do not have a driver’s license, you can take a picture of your birth certificate OR the page in your passport with your photo on it and email that photo to the County Elections office: ccelections@coconino.az.gov (Or you can drop it in the mail or deliver in person to 110 E. Cherry in Flagstaff, AZ 86001.

Call the County Elections Office (928-679-7850 or 1-800-793-6181) with your questions.

How old do I have to be to vote?

Answer
You have to be 18 to vote; however, you may register to vote if you are 17 and will be 18 on or before November 3, 2020.

Can I vote if my driver’s license is from out-of-state?

Answer
Yes! (read “How to Register to Vote” — the first question)

How can I help get students registered!

Answer

The first thing you should do is try to get 5 of your friends registered!  The Coconino County Democratic Party has an internship program which focuses on political organizing and voter registration.  You can apply for it here. You can also simply join us as a volunteer.

Can I vote if my Arizona driver’s license doesn’t have my current address?

Answer
Yes! (read “How to Register to Vote” — the first question)

Can I register to vote if I’m not a U.S. citizen?

Answer
No! Do not attempt to register to vote until you are sworn in at an official naturalization ceremony. This may jeopardize your naturalization application!

What address do I use on my registration?

Answer
You’ll be asked for two addresses:

Address where you live: The Dorm Name is sufficient if you live on campus.

Mailing Address: On campus, find your PO Box at tinyurl.com/poboxnau 

All election mail is snail mail, so check your snail mail box!

How do I get my ballot by mail and why should I?

Answer
To get your ballot in the mail, sign up to add your name to the Permanent Early Voter List (PEVL).

Being a PEVL voter means that you will receive your ballot approximately 27 days prior to the election.  You can then choose to return it by mail (at least one week before Election Day so that it gets to the elections office in time!) or drop it off in person at any time up until the polls close on Election Day.  

Signing up for PEVL makes voting more convenient and allows you more time to think about your votes. It also has been shown that a PEVL voter is more likely to actually vote than a non-PEVL voter.

To become a PEVL voter, Just check the box on your voter registration form to sign up for the Permanent Early Voting List. 

If you’ve already registered to vote and didn’t check that box, you can fill out this form and mail it into the County Elections Office at 110 E. Cherry, Flagstaff, AZ 86001. If you’re not sure whether you checked the box, it’s best just to fill out the voter registration form again.

More info about PEVL here.

Should I register to vote where I go to school or where my parents live? 

Answer

You should definitely register to vote where you live. Every candidate runs on a platform that matters to the people that are voting for them (or not). These candidates have policy positions on things that affect traffic, housing availability, climate change, student loans, and many more matters that affect your daily life. Many of these issues, such as minimum wage, are often left directly to voters. Voting locally gives you the opportunity to understand your community and affect it first-hand with your vote. 

In addition, Arizona is a “swing state” in the 2020 Presidential Election. If you are from a state that is solid red or solid blue, your vote in Arizona will make more of a difference in the Presidential race. Likewise, Arizona’s U.S. Senate race, our Congressional District 1 race, and our LD-6 race for Senate and House in the Arizona legislature will all be close races where Democrats can use your vote.

When are the elections in Arizona?

Important: If you won’t be in town on these dates, you can still vote. Keep reading!

Important note: For each of these elections there will be opportunities to vote early — either in person or by mail.

How do I vote early?

Answer

You can Vote Early in person starting 27 days prior to the Election Day.  There will be multiple locations around the County for Early Voting, which are usually open during standard business hours.  In Flagstaff in 2018, the Early Voting locations were the County Elections office downtown and at the Flagstaff Mall. As the 2020 elections near, the early voting locations will be available on the County Elections website and we’ll post them here on our website also.

You can also get your ballot in the mail starting 27 days before the election.

I’m going to be out of town for the primary elections, can I still vote?

Answer
Yes! This is where registering to get your ballot in the mail (the Permanent Early Voting List, or “PEVL”) is really helpful. 

If you plan to leave town for Spring Break when the Presidential Preference Election will happen and you are registered to get your ballot in the mail, simply fill it out and return it before you leave. (The ballot should be in your snail mail box before Spring Break since they are mailed 27 days before the election.)

If you will be out of town for the summer make sure you are registered to receive your ballot by mail, then contact the County Elections Office to ask them to mail your primary election ballot to your summer address: ccelections@coconino.az.gov or (928-679-7850 or 1-800-793-6181).

Who or what will I be voting for?

Answer
 In the 2020 Election, you’ll be voting for a U.S. Senator, Congressional Representative, Arizona Corporation Commissioners (our utility regulators), Legislative Senator and Representatives, and County and City Officers. (Other statewide offices are elected in non-Presidential years.) Here is a cool website that explains all the government offices in Arizona — we elect many more of our government officials than in some states where many offices may be appointed.

In addition, you will have the opportunity to vote on “propositions” which become law through direct voter initiative or, by voting on referenda, to reject laws that have been passed by the legislature. Many cities will also have propositions that directly affect the people living in their areas. We expect important ballot propositions, like Outlaw Dirty Money to be on the 2020 ballot.

What ID will I need when I vote?

Answer
If you are registered to get your ballot by mail (PEVL), you do not need to show any additional ID. 

If you vote early in person or vote on Election Day, then you will need to present one of these forms of ID at the polling place.

What’s the difference between a primary election and a general election? And what the heck is that Presidential Preference thing?

Short Answer
Primary Elections are the means by which political parties nominate candidates for the next General Election. After the Primary Election, only one candidate from a political party will appear on the General Election ballot for each open position. (Independent candidates get onto the General Election ballot by gathering sufficient numbers of signatures on nominating petitions rather than through the primary election process.)

Primary elections can be confusing especially during Presidential Election years because the Presidential Primary (in Arizona it’s called the Presidential Preference Election) happens in March while the primary for all the other races happens in August. Also, while the General Election is the same day in November everywhere in the United States, different states have their primary elections at different times.

Long Answer
Primaries exist because multiple candidates from the same party can run for a position, but a political party can only nominate one candidate for the ballot in the November General Election. If multiple candidates run for one position in a political party, there is a primary to determine which candidate will appear on the ballot in November. 

In the August Primary Election, Democrats, Republicans, Green, or Libertarian voters choose their party’s candidates by voting their party’s ballot. Voters not affiliated with any party (Independents) may vote one party ballot of their choice (Democratic, Republican, Green or Libertarian). The winners of the races in the August Primaries (for U.S. Senator, Congress, Legislature and other local races) become the “nominees” of their party and appear on the General Election Ballot in November.  Independent candidates (those not affiliated with any political party) get onto the General Election ballot by gathering sufficient numbers of signatures on nominating petitions rather than through the primary election process. If you will be out of town for the summer make sure you are registered to receive your ballot by mail, then contact the County Elections Office to ask them to mail your primary election ballot to your summer address: ccelections@coconino.az.gov or (928-679-7850 or 1-800-793-6181).

For the Presidential Preference Election, in March 2020, all of the Democratic Presidential Candidates will appear on the ballot (if they submit the proper paperwork to the Arizona Secretary of State). All candidates who receive 15% or more of the vote will be allotted delegates to the Democratic National Convention in a number that reflects their share of the vote relative to other candidates who met that 15% threshold. Arizona will have 67 of these pledged delegates, who with pledged delegates from other states, will vote at the July convention to elect the party’s nominee. (If more than one ballot is required to elect an nominee, other delegates – known as “automatic delegates” can vote. Arizona has 12 of these “automatic” delegates.) 

We urge Independents who are inclined toward Democratic values to change their registrations so that they can vote in the Presidential Preference Election. The National Democratic Party has a policy which urges states to allow Independents to vote in their presidential primaries, but so far Arizona legislators have not changed the law to allow that. 

Republicans could have access to the same kind of Presidential Preference Election (they used the option in 2016); however, they seem likely to choose their convention delegates at a closed caucus meeting rather than through an election process. 

To summarize, the Presidential Preference Election, which occurs on March 17, allows party members to instruct delegates how to vote at their parties’ conventions the following summer. Remember, this is on NAU’s Spring Break, so turn your ballot by mail before you leave or Vote Early!  

Here’s a recent opinion piece that explains where Arizona law stands on the closed Presidential Primary.

How can I update my address?

Answer

College students often need to update their address for voter registration because many move 1-2 or more times per year!  In addition, you may need to notify the County Elections Office of a temporary mailing address for mailing your August Primary Election ballot if you’re going to be out of town for the summer.

90 days prior to the election, the County Elections Office will send a 90-Day Notice to PEVL Voters.  You can return the form with an updated address if you know your address.

Voters can also call the County Elections Office with a temporary address update. 928-679-7860.

Ballots DO NOT get automatically forwarded to another address so you do need to make the call or return the postcard.

The County Elections Office can accommodate mailing to out-of-state temporary addresses or overseas.  Call their office 928-679-7860 to see what will work for your situation!  Don’t let travel or moving prevent you from having a voice in your future!

Where do I go to vote?

Answer
If you’re not registered to get your ballot by mail (PEVL), you go to an official polling place. As each election approaches, the County Elections Office will designate polling places. They may be in apartment buildings, churches, schools, or other public places.

In addition to the regular polling locations, there are also Vote Centers.  Any Coconino County Voter can vote at a Vote Center. In the 2018 Election, there was a Vote Center at the NAU Skydome. 

We’ll post exact information as it becomes available.

Can I vote at the polls if I don’t have an Arizona driver’s license with my current address?

Answer
If you don’t want to enroll in PEVL to get your ballot by mail and you don’t have a driver’s license, visit this site to determine what ID you should bring to the polls on election day.

The easiest way to vote without a driver’s license showing your current address is to enroll in the Permanent Early Voting List (PEVL) so that you can vote by mail. This way, your ballot will be mailed directly to your residence, and you don’t have to show your ID to anybody. You can still take your ballot to the polls and drop it off there if you choose to do so rather than mailing it in.

What is a PEVL voter?

Answer

Being a PEVL (Permanent Early Voter List) voter means that you will receive your ballot in the mail approximately 27 days prior to the election.  Mail your ballot back at least one week before election day, otherwise take it to any polling place or drop box on election day.  

Signing up for PEVL makes voting more convenient and allows you more time to think about your votes. It also has been shown that a PEVL voter is more likely to actually vote than a non-PEVL voter.

If I needed to provide proof of citizenship but I forgot, can I still vote?

Answer

If you registered on a paper form but forgot to provide proof of citizenship, you can still vote.  You are likely registered as a “Federal Only Voter” which means you are eligible to vote in the Presidential, U.S. Senate, and Congressional races. 

First, however, call the County Elections Office, to see if you have missed the deadline to turn in your proof of citizenship! 928-679-7850 or 1-800-793-6181. We need your vote for Legislative District 6!

If I’m registered but I forgot to update my address, can I still vote?

Answer

If you were registered in Coconino County and have changed your address within Coconino County, then you can still vote.  You will vote a provisional ballot, and you will need to provide proof of your current residency to the County Elections Office within a few days of the election (you’ll be given instructions when you vote). 

Can I vote in all elections if I register as an Independent?

Answer
Yes, except for the Presidential Preference Election where Democrats are picking their nominee. If you want to participate, you need to change your voter registration, at least temporaily.

Independents may vote in the August Primary Election, but they have to notify the Elections Office which party’s ballot they want. Independents may not vote more than one party’s ballot in the primary, nor can any other voter. 

If Independents are registered to receive their ballot by mail, their ballot is not automatically sent as it is for voters who have selected a party preference.  The County Recorder’s office will send a postcard prior to the primary election, which needs to be returned, asking the voter what Party’s ballot they wish to receive. If you miss the postcard, you can simply call the County Elections Office (928-679-7850 or 1-800-793-6181). 

If you are not a “ballot-by-mail” voter, just go to the polls and ask for the ballot you want.

What’s a “Federal Only” registration?

Answer
If you do not have evidence of citizenship (which can be an Arizona Driver’s License), you will be registered to vote only in Congressional and Presidential Elections. This means you can’t vote for our important Legislative District senator and representatives or in local elections. So, please take the extra step to prove your citizenship and get your full voting rights in Arizona. See “How to Register to Vote” — the first question on this page. 

Who do I call if I have more questions?

Answer
You can call the County Elections Office (928-679-7850 or 1-800-793-6181). Also, consult our Voter FAQ page.

If you find any incorrect or outdated information on this page, please let us know immediately at info@coconinodemocrats.org.