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What Tempe residents need to know about the City Council and General Plan election

Three City Council seats, the mayor and the Tempe General Plan 2050 are up for vote in the March 12 election

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"With the elections looming, ASU students have numerous avenues available to ensure their voices are heard at the ballot box."

The City of Tempe will hold an election on March 12 to present the General Plan 2050 to Tempe voters for approval, elect three candidates to the City Council and reelect the mayor, who is running unopposed.

The election will determine who sits on the City Council, which votes to approve or deny rezoning requests, new development projects, and changes to how the city handles infrastructure and transportation — also areas guided by the general plan. 

Tempe residents will find three contested City Council seats up for grabs alongside the decision on the General Plan 2050. Initial results will be posted around 8 p.m. Tuesday.

READ MORE: City council hopeful Hugo Tapia aims to bring scientific mind to Tempe

Incumbent City Council candidates Doreen Garlid and Randy Keating are facing newcomers Nikki Amberg, Hugo Tapia and David Lucier. Garlid is serving her first term after being elected in 2020, and Keating is serving his second term on the City Council. Mayor Corey Woods is running unopposed.

READ MORE: Meet ASU alum, veteran and City Council candidate David Lucier

Because there were not more than six candidates who filed petitions for the three open City Council seats and not more than two who filed for the mayoral race, the General Election is being held when the Primary Election would typically be held — as stipulated by the Tempe City Charter.

READ MORE: Nikki Amberg looks to tackle housing issues in Tempe city council race

According to the City of Tempe website, "Tempe Tomorrow: General Plan 2050 is Tempe's effort to create a new general plan that is forward-thinking, sustainable, achievable, and inclusive of everyone in the community."

The 2050 General Plan is designed to guide the city's growth and development over the next three decades. This collaborative effort between the current Tempe City Council and community stakeholders serves as a blueprint aimed at advancing the city's long-term goals and addressing the needs of its growing and diverse population.

This plan, also known as Proposition 478, outlines strategies for sustainable development in Tempe, focusing on enhancing transportation infrastructure, improving economic growth and preserving historic landmarks.

University students have numerous avenues available to ensure their voices are heard at the ballot box.

Voters who opted to mail in their ballots must have done so in time for the ballot to be received by elections officials no later than 7 p.m. on election day. 

There are two remaining ways to cast a ballot: 

Voters can still drop off their completed, signed and sealed ballot at any voting center or to their designated ballot drop-off location by the election day deadline of 7:00 p.m. on March 12.

The designated drop-off location for Tempe residents' ballots, and the closest drop-off location to ASU Tempe Campus, is Tempe City Hall, located at 31 E. Fifth St.

You can also cast your ballot in person on election day at the Ballot Replacement Center, situated at the Tempe History Museum, 809 E. Southern Ave.

Edited by Grey Gartin, Alysa Horton and Caera Learmonth.

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