A little more than a week from the general election and nearly 10,000 early ballots have already been returned in Gila County.
There are more than 34,000 active registered voters in Gila County and a staggering 25,314 of those have requested an early ballot or are on the permanent early ballot voting list, according to Sadie Bingham, county recorder.
Elections director Eric Mariscal said the county would start tabulating the ballots Friday, Oct. 30.
The number of registered Gila County voters for the Aug. 4 primary was 31,590. Roughly 2,500 names were added to the voter list for the general election on Nov. 3.
While Friday, Oct. 23 was the last day to request an early ballot, they can be dropped off through Friday, Oct. 30. Afterward they must be turned in on Election Day at a vote center or the individual’s polling place.
Early ballots can be dropped off, in person any weekday at Gila County Recorder Sadie Bingham’s office in Payson, 201 W. Frontier St. — or outdoors any day, 24/7, in the secure solid steel ballot drop-box stationed outside her office for “drive-thru” delivery.
It is one of eight similarly secure drop-boxes throughout Gila County, the outdoor drop-box is closely monitored — and frequently emptied — by the county recorder’s staff. Ballot drop-boxes are also outside the Isabelle Hunt Memorial Library in Pine, Star Valley Town Hall, Tonto Basin Public Library, and the fire station in Young.
Additionally, Gila County has in-person early voting Monday through Friday during business hours through Oct. 30 at the county recorder’s office, 201 W. Frontier, Payson and in Globe.