/ Modified oct 17, 2020 4:06 p.m.

A guide to voting in Pima County

Mail-in ballots, early voting and casting your ballot on Election Day.

360 pima election workers Workers process primary election ballots at the Pima County Election Center on Aug. 4, 2020.
John DeSoto/AZPM Staff

Arizona is one of the states pegged as a battleground on Nov. 3. Like so much else this year, the election promises to be historic and unprecedented. If you've already registered to vote, here's a guide to making sure your vote counts.

Election timeline

Officials urge people to complete these steps as early as possible

  • Oct. 5 - Original deadline to register to vote in Arizona*
  • Oct. 7 - Early voting begins, mail-in ballots start being sent out
  • Oct. 15 - Final deadline to register to vote in Arizona*
  • Oct. 23* - Deadline to request an early ballot or join the permanent early voting list
  • Oct. 27 - Last day to mail your ballot
  • Oct. 30 - Last day to vote early in person
  • Nov. 3 - Election Day (polls close at 7 p.m.)

*The original voter deadline was pushed back to Oct. 23 by a federal judge. Later, the voter registration deadline was again changed to Oct. 15.

Are you registered to vote? If you're unsure of your voter registration status, you can check your information on the Secretary of State's website. Click here for more information on voter registration.

Voting by mail

While uncertainty over the expected increase in mail-in voting due to COVID-19 swirls in different parts of the country, Arizona officials tout the state's long history of mail-in voting — which goes back nearly three decades — and have been working to assure voters that they're ready. In the record-turnout August primary, 88% of the state's voters cast an early ballot, most of them by mail, without complications or claims of fraud.

If you receive a mail-in ballot (see below), officials and advocates suggest you vote as early as possible, but the official recommendation for the latest date to send you ballot in is Oct. 27. If you miss the deadline or are unsure, you can drop off your completed ballot in person at any voting station or secure ballot-drop box by 7 p.m. on Election Day. Follow the instructions on the ballot, use the envelope provided and don't forget to sign. The signature must match what election officials have on file for you.

If you're mailing your ballot, it must be received by 7 p.m. on Election Day.

Tips for your mail-in ballot:

  • Read the directions carefully
  • Use both envelopes provided
  • Sign where indicated (should match your signature on file)
  • Do not put a postage stamp on the envelope
  • Vote early, whether by mail or dropping your ballot off in person
  • Track your ballot here.

    vote usps processing Pima County election workers process early ballots, 2012.

    Permanent early voting list

    If you're on the permanent early voting list (PEVL), your ballot will be automatically sent to you. If you're not sure if you're on the PEVL, you can check your information here. You have until 11 days before Election Day to join the list and have a ballot sent to you. That's Oct. 23 at 5 p.m. As with any of these deadlines, election officials are urging voters to complete them as early as possible.

    Join the PEVL online or submit a written form here.

    One-time mail-in ballot

    If you'd like to request a one-time mail-in ballot, the Oct. 23 deadline is the same. Again, registered voters are urged to do this as soon as possible.

    Request a ballot-by-mail online here. Alternatively you can contact your county recorder to request a ballot over the phone, by mail, or by email. Find a list of the required information for any of those methods here.

    Contact the Pima County Recorder's Office:

    Vote in person

    If you have a mail-in ballot, you can drop it off at any voting station or secure ballot-drop box on or before Election Day. Follow the instructions on the ballot, use the envelope provided and don't forget to sign. The signature must match what election officials have on file for you.

    If you choose to vote in person, bring an ID and a mask. The Pima County Recorder's Offices says people who do not want to wear a mask will have to be assisted by a poll or early-voting site worker to complete the process outside, with booths provided.

    Early, walk-in

    Check your local recorder's website for information specific to your county.

    In Pima County, some early voting sites are open to cast ballots on Oct. 7, and additional sites will open Oct. 26. Some sites hold 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. hours, Monday through Friday. Additional "emergency voting" hours will be held at certain locations after the close of early voting. The deadline for early, walk-in voting is 5 p.m. on the Friday prior to Election Day. Find the list and hours for Pima County here.

    You'll need valid photo ID, like a driver's license, tribal ID, or other official state or federal identification that lines up with your voter registration information. If not, other options include a combination of two other pieces of identification, like a recent utility bill and vehicle registration. Find the list here.

    The Arizona Clean Elections Commission has a tool to look up early voting sites and information for your address: Voter Dashboard.

    Southern Arizona early voting sites

    Click a site for more information. Map shows early voting sites for the 2020 general election, not Election Day polling places or secure ballot drop boxes.
    Credit: AZPM. Sources: County recorder and election sites

    Vote on Election Day, Nov. 3

    If you have a mail-in ballot, you can drop it off at any voting location on Election Day by 7 p.m.

    If you are voting on Election Day in person, you need to go to your specific polling place. For Pima County, find that location here. If voting in another county, check with your local recorder's office for locations. Your ballot needs to be submitted by 7 p.m. on Election Day.

    You will need valid ID. Find the list of possible forms of identification here.

    Track your ballot

    Want to know if your ballot has been processed? For Pima County, you can do that here, or at the Secretary of State's website.

    Your Vote 2020
    Read more coverage of national, Arizona, and local elections at our 2020 elections portal, Your Vote 2020.
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