Citizens Clean Elections Commission

Citizens Clean 
Elections Commission

Your Guide to Arizona’s Political Process

AZ Clean Elections

Why Youth Voting Matters?

Building a relationship with the political process early on is key to forming lifelong voting habits. Clean Elections encourages citizen participation in the political process and provides the tools and resources, for all ages, to be able to vote informed.

Understanding the Process

Step 1. Registering to Vote

The first step to participating in elections would be registering yourself as a voter. The following list details the qualifications to register:
  • • You are a citizen of the United States
  • • You are a resident of Arizona and the county listed on your registration 29 days prior to the election
  • • You are 18 years of age or older on or before the day of the next regular General Election (November 6, 2018)
  • • You are able to write your name or make your mark (unless prevented by a disability)

Choosing Your Address (Where you live)

It's critical to understand how important the address you provide on your registration is. This location determines what district and precinct you live in, who you're eligible to vote for and ultimately where you're assigned polling location is (if you choose to vote at the polls). This presents a unique situation to young voters who relocate for schooling. Students often don't know that you can only be registered to vote in one location. This means that students will need to determine which location to register, whether it be at home or where they reside for school.

When do I update my registration?

It's also important to know when you'll need to update your voter registration. Voters should update their registration when moving to a new address, legally changing their name or if they would like to change their political party affiliation.
Click here to register to vote.

Step 2. Receiving Your Ballot

Once registered, voters have options in how they would like to receive their ballot:
  • • Ballot By Mail - Voters can opt into the Permanent Early Voting List (PEVL) to receive their ballot in the mail automatically or make a one time request. To sign up for PEVL, send your County Recorder a written request or select the PEVL option on your registration form.
  • •Onsite Early Voting - Voters can visit any early voting locations within their county.
  • •Election Day - Voters can vote at their assigned polling place or vote center, depending on their county of residence.

Did You Know?

Click on the links below for additional information regarding youth voting.


Did you know you can bring your children with you into the polling place? This provides an opportunity for parents to introduce their kids to the voting process. Also, children 16 years and older can work as a poll worker. This will hopefully instill the importance of civic responsibility, not to mention earning a paycheck!

High School Students

Even though you're not 18 yet, you may still be able to register to vote. As long as you will be 18 before the next regular general election (November 6, 2018) you can register now. Click here to register.

College Students

In State Students: Will you be living at or away from home? Dorm, or off-campus housing? Remember, when you register to vote use the address you consider your home address, as this will determine your district and who you're eligible to vote for. If you are temporarily residing away from home, make sure you notify your County Recorder of your new mailing address, so they can mail you your ballot.

For example, if you're registered to vote in Phoenix (Maricopa County) and you are attending school in Flagstaff (Coconino County), then Maricopa County will have to mail you your ballot or you will have to return to Phoenix to vote at your assigned polling location on Election Day. You are only eligible to vote in the County you are registered in. If you received your ballot by mail, make sure to return it back to the correct county by 7 PM on election day.

Out of State Students: Are you leaving Arizona to attend school in another state? You will need to determine if you are still a resident of Arizona (you intend to return) or a resident of the new state. You may only be registered to vote in one location. If you will be registered to vote in Arizona, you will need to contact your County Recorder prior to each election and request your ballot be mailed to your out of state location. If registering to vote in another state, make sure you cancel your Arizona registration and contact the Secretary of State's Office for that state's registration process.

For example, if you're registered to vote in Arizona and you are attending school in California, then your Arizona County Recorder will have to mail you your ballot or you will have to return to Arizona to vote at your assigned polling location on Election Day. You are only eligible to vote in the state you are registered in. If you received your ballot by mail, make sure to return it back to the correct county by 7 PM on election day.

IMPORTANT Residency status may impact tuition and scholarships, contact your school for additional information.


Are you a Government or Civics Teacher? Please feel free to contact Clean Elections to help you educate your students on voting and the political process. We are happy to visit classrooms and bring educational materials. Submit a request by emailing the Commission here.

Additional Resources

Please feel free to visit the below resources:

Understanding the Process - Continued

Step 3. Get Informed

Educate yourself on candidates and the issues so you can feel confident when casting your ballot! Clean Elections has the tools and resources to help youth voters get ready to vote informed.

Voter Education Guide

This guide provides statements for statewide and legislative candidates, contact information and logistical voting information. The Voter Education Guide is produced and mailed to the household of every Arizona voter for both the Primary (August 28, 2018) and General (November 6, 2018) Elections. Guides arrive "in households" before the start of early voting, which is 27 days before the election!


Clean Elections sponsors statewide and legislative debates. Voters can attend legislative debates in person and statewide debates are televised. All debates are recorded, with closed captioning, and available on our website. These debates are concluded before the start of early voting, 27 days prior to the election.

Mobile App

You're busy, so get your voter education to go. Access the location of your polling place, in-depth information on statewide and legislative candidates and more-all from your hand-held device. Download the app here.

Candidate Compass

Curious where the candidates stand on the issues that matter to you? The Candidate Compass is a quick and easy way to find state and legislative candidates who align with your views, without feeling overwhelmed. Answer a few questions and compare your candidates. It's that simple. The Candidate Compass tool will come back online approximately in June of 2018.

Social Media

Follow Clean Elections on social media for up-to-date election information.

Find My Elected Officials

Want to stay in touch with your state lawmakers and other elected officials? Our tool allows voters to input their address, or district number, and connect directly with their representatives. Click here to find your elected officials now!


We feature dedicated web pages for each election, to provide voters with all of the information they need to vote. Click here to view the most recent election page.

Step 4. Casting Your Ballot

All ballots must be received by 7 PM on election day. Depending on how you received your ballot, you have options on how to return it. If you received your ballot by mail, you can mail it back (at least 7 days before the election) or drop it off at any polling location within your county. You do not need to wait in line when dropping off your early ballot! If you vote in person your ballot will be submitted at the time of voting.

Why does my vote matter?

Research shows younger voters often feel as though their vote doesn't count, when in reality it's the opposite. Every vote counts and every vote can make a difference.

For example, the 2016 Congressional District 5 Primary race was so highly contested it resulted in an official recount being called. After the recount concluded the nominee won by just 27 votes!

Voter Identification

In Arizona, voters are required to present identification at the polls before receiving their ballot. Please visit one of our dedicated election pages to view the list of acceptable ID. Click here to view the most recent election.

Students, did you know your student ID most likely is not accepted at the polls? This is because most student ID cards do not include a photograph and/or address. If you do not have proper ID, you can still vote. Early voting, whether by mail or in-person, does not require ID as a voter's identity is verified through their signature.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I vote early?

Absolutely. If you are on the Permanent Early Voting List (PEVL), you will automatically receive a ballot in your mailbox beginning 27 days before the election. Voters not on PEVL may make a one-time early ballot request or sign up for the Permanent Early Voting List.

Contact your County Recorder's Office to request an early ballot or find early voting locations.

Do I need ID to vote early?

If you vote early, either by mail or in person, ID is not required. Your signature on the early ballot affidavit is compared to your voter registration record by the County Recorder to determine if the signature is valid. ID is required if you vote at the polls on Election Day.

When are the polls open?

Polls are open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Election Day. Find your polling place.

How can Military & Overseas Voters get a ballot?

Military and Overseas voters have special voting rights under federal and state law (Uniformed & Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA)). These rights include the use of a Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) to register to vote and request an early ballot as well as the use of a Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB), which serves as an emergency back-up ballot.

For more information, UOCAVA voters should visit: the Secretary of State's Website or the Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP).

Do I have to vote everything on my ballot?

No, voters do not have to vote everything on their ballot. The votes they do cast will still be counted.

However, we encourage voters to vote down the ballot as local races, propositions, judges, etc. can impact voters' daily lives.