Remember when there was some excitement not long ago about Arizona becoming an “Open Primary” state? I do. I was excited that maybe moving forward I wouldn’t have to change my party affiliation to vote for the presidential candidate I was rooting for. I WAS WRONG. This is IMPORTANT.
Arizona doesn’t have a presidential primary election in March like most states. We have what is called a PPE- which, to my dismay DOES NOT stand for Primary Presidential Election. It stands for Presidential Preference Election. Misleading, if you ask me. This is important because it means you are required to vote on the candidates in your affiliated party. Are you registered as an independent? THEN YOU CAN NOT VOTE IN THE PPE. You absolutely must pick a party by February 22nd in order to participate in the March 22nd, 2016 PPE.
Let me just say that again, so everyone gets it.
ARIZONA REGISTERED INDEPENDENTS CAN NOT VOTE IN THE PRESIDENTIAL PREFERENCE ELECTION ON MARCH 22ND, 2016.
To me, part of the beauty of a democracy is allowing all the people to participate. This rule will prevent MANY registered Independent voters from participating- unless they meet the February 22nd deadline and pick a party.
“BUT MOLLY, I’M NOT A REPUBLICAN/DEMOCRAT/GREEN/WHATEVER! I DON’T IDENTIFY WITH THEIR IDEALS, JUST CANDIDATE XYZ!”
Doesn’t matter. I know it burns a little to register for a party you don’t agree with, but thems the breaks my friends. Plus, you could change your party affiliation online every day if you felt like it. So don’t sweat it. Just change it back AFTER the PPE as it will also effect your voting abilities for local elections- but that is another post entirely. Ultimately we get to exchange some wonky electoral rules for 70 degree winters, so I’ll make do.
Also, make note of your polling location as they can change every single year. It is best to look it up in advance. You can do that here.
HEY! DON’T FALL FOR DIRTY TRICKS!!
Unfortunately the game of politics is often quite sinister and disingenuous. Do not, I repeat… DO NOT fall for mailers that try to mislead you! This one was sent out by the Republican party to Independent voters just last week. This has potentially very serious implications: Independent voters may think they do not need to vote in the PPE, or that they need to register as Republican in order to participate. Please everyone, know the facts and don’t let yourself be robbed of your right (and duty!) to vote in the PPE. If you’re a registered Independent, change your party to align with the presidential candidate you’re supporting this year.
IMPORTANT DATES FOR THE 2016 ARIZONA PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION
February 22nd, 2016- Voter registration deadline for Presidential Preference Election
February 24th, 2016- Early voting by mail begins for PPE IF you chose early voting at registration
March 22nd, 2016- Presidential PPE
November 8th, 2016- General Election
Check your party affiliation here
To REGISTER, CHANGE party affiliation or change your address go here
Download a paper registration form here
Check your polling location here (EVEN IF YOU KNOW WHERE IT WAS LAST TIME!)
Check the status of a mailed early ballot here