The 2020 election will be one of the most consequential in memory at the national, state, and local levels. Since the #REDforED movement took off two years ago, our educator community has become much more engaged in the electoral process, and this page is meant to be a resource for those who seek to further their engagement and learn more about what’s at stake in this election.
What’s at Stake
At the national level, voters will elect the President of the United States, as well as the entire U.S. House of Representatives and one-third of the U.S. Senate (including Martha McSalley’s seat in Arizona).
At the state level, voters will select the entire Arizona House of Representatives and Senate, and with the gains we made in 2018, we have a legitimate chance to elect a Legislature that is committed to properly funding public education. With or without that Legislature, we also have a chance to make historical and permanent increases to public education funding in Arizona by passing Proposition 208.
At the local level, voters within CUSD boundaries will select three Governing Board members.
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).
Likewise, the NEA Fund also recommends candidates in national elections, including members of U.S. Congress who represent Arizona (and other states), and the CEA PAC can make recommendations in local elections (e.g., CUSD Governing Board) as necessary.
With all of this in mind, here are recommendations for candidates and propositions:
U.S. House of Representatives (District 9)
Legislative District 17
Legislative District 18
Please note that the above list is not a complete list of candidates that all of our members may get to vote for. For recommendations in different races, please visit the the AEA Fund website and the NEA Fund website.
AEA has also released their 2020 Legislative Report Card, which is a great way to see how our current legislators voted on key educational issues in the last legislative session.
AZ Schools Now (a coalition of pro-public education groups, including AEA) has several resources available on their website, as well.
While the CEA PAC has not yet decided to make recommendations in the 2020 CUSD Governing Board election, we have sent questionnaires to all candidates for CUSD Governing Board, and have posted their responses on our CUSD Governing Board Election page.
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 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)
Due to the COVID pandemic, we urge our members to sign up for the Permanent Early Voting List or request an early ballot for the 2020 election. 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 (Maricopa county residents can use this link, while residents from other counties can use this link).
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), or at the Arizona Voter Information Portal.
Voters who want to verify that their mailed ballot was received can check the status of their mailed ballot online. With recent uncertainty surrounding the US Postal Service’s ability to handle an increase in election-related mail, we urge our members to meet the deadlines below several days in advance.
Important Voter Registration and Early Ballot Deadlines
July 6 – last day to register to vote for the primary election July 24 – last day to request an early ballot for the primary election July 29 – last day to mail completed primary election ballot
October 5 – last day to register to vote for the general election
October 23 – last day to request an early ballot for the general election
October 26 – 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.
It is a good idea to verify your voter registration status before heading to the polls. If you get to your polling place and are told you are not registered to vote or don’t have proper identification, request a provisional ballot and cast your vote. You can return to your polling place by 7:00 pm on Election Day to provide proper ID, or you can provide proper ID up to 5 days after Election Day at your county recorder’s office.
Important Election Dates
August 4 – primary election
November 3 – 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). The only exception to this is the Presidential Preference Election, which does require you to be registered to vote for the party whose ballot you’d like to receive.
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.