The 2018 election will be one of the most consequential in memory at the national, state, and local levels. As the #REDforED movement has taken hold, we have seen an amazing increase in voter engagement. This page is meant to be a resource for those who seek to become informed, engaged voters.
What’s at Stake
At the national level, voters will select the entire U.S. House of Representatives and one-third of the U.S. Senate (including Jeff Flake’s seat in Arizona).
At the state level, voters will select a Governor, Attorney General, Secretary of State, and Superintendent of Public Instruction. Voters will also fill two seats on the Arizona Corporation Commission. Additionally, voters will select the entire Arizona House of Representatives and Senate, giving us a chance to finally have a Governor and Legislature who are committed to properly funding public education.
The Invest in Ed initiative, for which so many worked so hard over the summer to collect signatures, will be on the ballot along with a chance to defeat private school vouchers by voting down Proposition 305.
At the local level, voters within CUSD boundaries will select two Governing Board members, and voters within Chandler city limits will select a Mayor and three City Council members.
Registering to Vote
Any eligible voter can easily register to vote online. It only takes a few minutes!
Voters can also complete a paper form and mail it to their county recorder. Maricopa County residents can download a form here, while residents of other counties should contact their county recorder’s office. Eligible voters can also register to vote in person by visiting their county recorder’s office.
Whether you register to vote online, by mail, or in person, you have the option to sign up for the Permanent Early Voter List (PEVL). This will result in a ballot being mailed to your address on file, which you can complete in the comfort of your own home and send in by the appropriate deadline. No more having to locate your polling place, and no more having to wait in line to vote!
Important Voter Registration Deadlines
July 30 – last day to register to vote for the primary election
October 9 – last day to register to vote for the general election
Becoming an Educated Voter
NEA/AEA/CEA dues cannot be used for political purposes, but the AEA members who wish to make political contributions can donate to the AEA Fund for Public Education, which is AEA’s political action committee (PAC). The AEA Fund makes candidate recommendations based on input from the Fund Council, which consists of elected members of the AEA Board of Directors or those elected directly to the Fund Council (these elections occur at the AEA Delegate Assembly). You can find out which candidates were recommended by the AEA Fund by visiting the AEA Fund website.
AEA has also released their 2018 Legislative Report Card, which is a great way to see how our current legislators voted on key educational issues in the last legislative session.
Likewise, the NEA Fund also recommends candidates in national elections, including members of U.S. Congress who represent Arizona (and other states). Interested voters can view a list of candidates recommended by the NEA Fund online.
AZ Schools Now (a coalition of pro-public education groups, including AEA) has several resources available on their website, as well.
CEA (in conjunction with Valley Interfaith Project) has also conducted candidate forums for specific 2018 races. The purpose of these forums is not to recommend specific candidates, but to invite all candidates to meet with voters and answer questions about issues facing our community. Videos of these forums can be found below:
- Superintendent of Public Instruction
- Legislative District 12 – House and Senate
- Arizona Corporation Commission
The Arizona Citizens Clean Elections Commission website has lots of helpful information about the upcoming election, voting procedures, and candidates. The Secretary of State’s office also provides information about primary candidates and general election candidates on its website, as well as provides a voter pamphlet that will be sent to all registered voters.
Watch out for sites that appear to be neutral voter information sites like azvoterguide.com … this site is actually published by the extremely conservative Center for Arizona Policy.
Voting by Mail (Early Ballot)
If you are on the Permanent Early Voting List (PEVL), you will automatically receive your ballot in the mail. You can simply mark and seal your ballot, then mail it in time to be received by Election Day or drop it off at a polling place on Election Day. Voters can sign up the PEVL by updating their voter registration information online. Voters who are not on the PEVL but would like to request an early ballot can do so via their county recorder’s office (Maricopa County residents can request an early ballot here, while residents of other counties can locate their county recorder’s office here).
Voters who want to verify that their mailed ballot was received can check the status of their mailed ballot online.
Important Early Ballot Deadlines
August 17 – last day to request an early ballot for the primary election
August 22 – last day to mail completed primary election ballot
October 26 – last day to request an early ballot for the general election
October 31 – last day to mail completed general election ballot
Voting in Person
If you miss the deadline to request an early ballot or if you prefer to cast your ballot in person, be sure to locate your polling place and ensure you have proper identification before you head out to vote. If voters requested an early ballot but did not mail it in, they can also drop off their early ballot at any polling place in their county (use the polling place locator to find one near you).
Polling places will open at 6:00 am on Election Day and close at 7:00 pm. Voters who are in line by 7:00 pm will be allowed to cast their vote.
Important Election Dates
August 28 – primary election
November 6 – general election
I am registered to vote with no party affiliation. Can I participate in the primary election?
Yes. Registered independents can still participate in the primary! These voters will need to request which party’s primary ballot they wish to cast (they can only choose one).
Those who are on the PEVL should receive a postcard that they can use to indicate their ballot selection. Likewise, independent voters who request an early ballot for the primary online can make their selection at that time. Finally, independent voters who wish to vote in the primary election in person can indicate their ballot preference when they cast their vote.