8/2/2008 10:53:00 PM Officials take steps to facilitate voting process
Upcoming election coverage
To help encourage people to sign up and vote, The Daily Courier is publishing information about federal, state and county candidates today through Sunday, Aug. 10. This includes:
Today - Short biographical information for races contested in the primary.
Monday - Short biographical information for candidates who are uncontested in the primary.
Thereafter, through Sunday, the Courier will feature a question-and-answer story for one contested race each day.
Early voting for the Sept. 2 primary election started Thursday.
"It is already getting crazy around here with telephone calls and the public coming in," County Registrar of Voters Karen McCracken said.
Early voters can return ballots via mail or eight outdoor drop off boxes 24 hours a day. In this region the boxes are located at the Fair Street office in Prescott; Prescott Valley Town Hall at 7501 Civic Circle; Chino Valley Town Hall at 1020 W. Palomino Road; and Dewey-Humboldt Town Hall at 2735 S. Highway 69.
For more information about county elections, call 771-3248.
In the open primary, voters in non-recognized parties must choose one of the three Arizona-recognized party ballots: Republican, Democrat or Green. People registered in those parties have to stick to those parties.
PRESCOTT - Yavapai County elections officials are working to make it easier than ever for people to vote in this year's primary election.
For the first time, they have set up touch-screen voting machines in the county administration building lobby, 1015 Fair St. in Prescott, for people who want to vote early. Registered voters can stop by the ground-floor lobby between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. through Aug. 29.
County officials also started a Permanent Early Voting List recently so people can get on the list and thereafter automatically receive early voting ballots in the mail. Already nearly 39,000 voters - more than one-third of the county's registered voters - have signed up for it. Others can get on the list or request early ballots until Aug. 22 for the primary election cycle.
Oftentimes in Yavapai County, the primary election decides local winners because most candidates are Republicans.
"I think people underestimate the importance of the primary election," said Lynn Constabile, elections director for Yavapai County.
Democrats have contested primary races in only two races, U.S. House of Representatives and Arizona Corporation Commission, while Republicans have contested races in six fields.
Current voter numbers show 111,770 active voters in Yavapai County: 51,441 Republicans, 30,695 non-partisans, 28,585 Democrats, 847 Libertarians and 202 Greens.
Only 33 percent of the county's registered voters bothered to go to the polls in the last presidential primary election four years ago.
Generally, only about half of adults even bother to register, Constabile said.
A poster in the elections office lobby shows what election officials think about that: "If you don't vote, you can't complain."
The last day to register to vote in the primary election is Monday, Aug. 4. Arizona residents can register online at www.servicearizona.com, where they also can change their address. Voters can request early ballots or get on the county's Permanent Early Voting List by going to the county website at www.co.yavapai.az.us.