For Phoenix elections, voters no longer are required to vote at a specified polling place in the precinct where the voter resides. Any city voter can use any one of the designated voting centers to cast a ballot. For voting convenience, in addition to Election Day, the voting centers will be open on the Saturday and Monday prior to Election Day. This new way of voting is only for elections conducted by the city of Phoenix.
Overview of Voting Center Concept
On June 2, 2009, the City Council approved a change to the polling place voting process that responds to needs and preferences of Phoenix voters, while enhancing the convenience of casting a ballot at the polls. Under the plan, voting centers replaced traditional polling places, making voting more convenient and flexible. The process for early voting by mail will not change. Voting centers were implemented for the August 2011 Mayor and Council Election.
Between 1993 and 2013, voting at the polls in city of Phoenix elections steadily declined, while early voting by mail increased, as shown in the voting trends chart below.
Under state law, any registered voter may request to be added to a Permanent Early Voting List (PEVL) to automatically receive a ballot by mail for all elections. For the May 2008 Election, the first time the PEVL was used, 96 percent of votes cast were by mail. In city elections since 2001, ballots by mail averaged about 85 percent of all ballots cast.
Voting Center Benefits
- Ease of Voting. Unlike voting at polling places, voters will not be limited to the one location near where they live. Voters can vote at any voting center that is convenient, whether close to home, work, or other activities.
- Multiple Days. Voting centers will be open for several days for varied hours, such as the Saturday and Monday before the Tuesday Election Day. On Election Day, voting centers will be open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m., which are the same hours as polling places.
- Improved Sites, Service and Support. Voting centers will be located on main streets and transit routes and in business and shopping cores. Only the best locations and most qualified board workers will be used.
- Reduced Need for Provisional Ballots. Voters who do not vote their early ballot will not have to vote a provisional ballot at a voting center because the early ballot can be cancelled. Since voters can vote at any location, provisional ballots will be necessary only when voters lack the required identification or need to update their registration.
- Cost Savings. The significant reduction in the number of locations and workers required, and the staff time required to secure the facilities, store, prepare and deliver supplies, and secure and train election board workers, will reduce election costs dramatically. It is estimated this process will decrease election costs by approximately $250,000.
If you would like to learn more, or if you have any questions, or feedback, please contact the City Clerk Department by phone at 602-261-VOTE (8683) or TTY 602-534-2737, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.