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What to know before you vote with Adrian Fontes

The Maricopa County Recorder explains what students should know before election day

Ballot for Isaac Windes 10-24-18.jpg

"Prepare for voting day with these tips." Illustration published on Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2018.

The 2018 election is squaring up to be one of the largest and most contentious midterm elections in decades, following a primary season that saw record turnout in Arizona. 

See More: Record voter turnout in the primary spurs optimism among ASU students

You can vote either on Nov. 6, or on one of the early voting days.

Here is what ASU students need to know before heading out to vote, with input from Maricopa Country Recorder, Adrian Fontes: 

What do you need to bring to vote?

According to the Secretary of State's Office, "every qualified elector is required to show proof of identity at the polling place before receiving a ballot." There is a list of acceptable forms of I.D. on the website, including a valid driver license, tribal identification card and U.S. issued I.D.

What are the different ways to vote? 

There are three ways to vote in Maricopa County: mail-in ballot voting, early voting at a vote center and in-person day-of voting on Nov. 6. 

Where can you submit your ballot? 

In-person voting can be done at any one of 40 vote centers across Maricopa County as of 2018, regardless of their proximity to your address. Voting can be done early, or on Nov. 6. You can find a vote center near you or your precinct here. 

According to Fontes, when voters go to these centers they "will get a custom ballot printed for them that’s commensurate with their voting precinct.

"We’ve tried to eliminate that confusion by giving access to vote centers where any Maricopa voter can draw any Maricopa ballot and it will be valid and it will be counted," he said. "This is the first election for Maricopa County where we will have widespread vote centers."

Mail-in ballots can be mailed up to seven days in advance, using the enclosed instructions and postage-paid envelope or they can be submitted at any early voting location or precinct voting location until 7 p.m. on Nov. 6. 

How do provisional ballots work and do they count? 

"A provisional ballot is a catch-all term for ballots that need some kind of additional verification before getting counted," Fontes said. 

Additional information from the Secretary of State’s website said that provisional ballots are provided when a voter is not on the voter rolls at a precinct. This could be for a number of reasons including a recent change of address, voting at the wrong precinct or failing to register at all. 

If you don’t have valid I.D. and receive a provisional ballot, you can bring a valid form of I.D. “to your polling location before 7:00 pm on election day or at the county elections office within … three business days” for it to count, states the site. 

Will there will be long lines? Yes — if you are voting on election day, leave early. 

"I do anticipate that we will have long lines, there are no questions about that," Fontes said. "I don’t think they will be as long as they were historically. But, look this is a very popular election — we are expecting huge turn out, so the antidote to long lines is vote early. Get it done early and just don’t worry about it anymore."

What is one piece of advice you have to students leading up to voting next month? 

"My recommendation to student voters is just vote early — forget about election day rules, forget about all those lines, forget about the last second," Fontes said. "Get onto, find the times and places where you can vote early and get it done.

"It’s a service that we’ve been able to expand because of new technology, and it really is helpful, particularly for students because (it fits) flexible schedules."

Reach the reporter at or follow @isaacdwindes on Twitter.

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