vote early

Avoid standing in lines at polls by signing up for a mail-in ballot. Enroll online at arizona.vote.

Ballots can be long, with complicated propositions, and many candidates to consider — issues many may not have considered until they were looking at the ballot. If you would rather take time to read and consider these at home, register for a mail-in ballot, said the Gila County Recorder Sadie Jo Bingham.

Arizona is a key state in the 2020 election cycle. Are you registered to vote in the August primary? July 6 is the deadline to enroll as a voter — and those who cannot wait to vote may cast their ballots starting just two days later: July 8.

Early ballots for the primary can be dropped off at the Gila County Recorder’s offices in Payson and Globe from July 8 through Aug. 4, and by mail throughout the month of July.

The overwhelming majority of Gila County voters (69%) agree that it’s secure to vote early. If you’re among the 30% who aren’t yet on the Permanent Early Voter List, enroll online at arizona.vote or request a sign-up form with a call to Bingham’s office in Payson, 928-474-7139 or Globe, 928-402-8740.

Curious about how many voters share your political affiliation? Recent tallies show Gila County has 14,125 voters registered Republican, 8,622 Democrats, 166 Libertarian, and 8,173 unaffiliated.

Local proof of the advantage of voting-by-mail was illustrated in the Tonto Basin precinct — where flooded Tonto Creek blocked “east-siders” access to the official polling place on March 17. More than 100 of the registered voters who were eligible to cast a ballot had already done so from the convenience of their homes and at their leisure: receiving the ballot by mail nearly a full month ahead of time, and able to return it by mail or dropped off at secure ballot boxes ahead of time, and in locations throughout Gila County.

Bingham’s top five reasons for early voting:

1. You’ll receive reminders, and you’re more likely to vote.

2. Who wants to stand in line at the polls on election day.

3. Vote at your leisure.

4. You can still visit the polls in person if you suspect you might have a change of heart or mind — even as late as election day. Signing up to receive your early ballot does not mean that you can’t wait until election day to vote. You may still bring your vote-by-mail ballot to the precinct where they will officially accept it.

5. You still have the option to drop-off your early ballot at the recorder’s office (Payson or Globe) or on election day at a polling location.

Contact the reporter at tmcquerrey@payson.com

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(1) comment

Mike White

But, sadly, mail ballots are far more susceptible to voter and voting fraud, as was seen in Maricopa and Pinal counties in the last few cycles.

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