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Friday, September 22, 2017

Frequently Asked Questions

 
 

 Click on a category to the left to filter the list of FAQs below.

Are Provisional Ballots counted?

Yes, every verified provisional ballot is counted.

Can I file my Campaign Finance Reports electronically or by mail?

Yavapai County accepts Campaign Finance Reports by email, mail or in-person. If you mail your report, we recommend allowing enough delivery time that it arrives before the filing deadline.

Electronic reports can be sent by email to web.elections@yavapai.us.

For more information about filing campaign finance reports, please refer to A.R.S. §§ 16-926 and 16-927.

Can I file my committee formation paperwork by mail?

Yes. Please make sure that all paperwork has original signatures.

Can I file my committee formation paperwork electronically?

Yes. Yavapai County accepts committee formation paperwork by email, mail, or in-person. When filing on printed paper, all forms must have original signatures. Forms filed electronically by email must have a valid digital signature.

The Elections Department does not provide technical support for digital signatures. For information about signing a PDF using Adobe Reader, please visit https://helpx.adobe.com/reader/using/sign-pdfs.html. For other software, please consult the user documentation.

Can I file my committee formation paperwork in Cottonwood?

No, Yavapai County Elections is located at 1015 Fair Street in Prescott and does not have an office in Cottonwood.

Can I have my name redacted from the public record?

To remove your name from public record, please see the Arizona State Statutes which provide the specific details on who is eligible and what requirements have to be met. There are separate statutes for different public records: Recorder (A.R.S. § 11-483), the Assessor and Treasurer (A.R.S. § 11-484) and Voter Registration (A.R.S. § 16-153). Please review each statute for details. Here is a link to the home page of the Arizona State Statutes.

Do I have to file Campaign Finance Reports?

If you filed a Statement of Organization, you are required to file Campaign Finance Reports. The reporting dates are listed on the front page of the Campaign Finance Report Form. You need to file a separate report for each Statement of Organization you filed.

If you were not required to form a committee using a Statement of Organization, you must still keep track of all contributions and expenses. If the aggregate total of receipts and disbursements exceeds $1,000, you must file a Statement of Organization within 10 days. [A.R.S. § 16-906]

Do I have to open a bank account before turning in my Statement of Organization?

No. The Statement of Organization asks for the name of the bank you plan to use. You can submit an Amended Statement of Organization if you end up using a different bank.

Do I need to keep track of my campaign's income and expenses?

Yes. Even if you are not required to file a Statement of Organization, you are required to keep track of all income (contributions, interest, etc.) and expenditures (payments, fees, etc.) for your committee.

See Do I have to file Campaign Finance Reports? above.

How do I challenge a candidate?

To challenge a candidate, you must file a challenge petition in court no later than 5:00 p.m. on the 10th business day after the candidate Nomination Petition submission deadline. The challenge petition must specifically list the reasons for the challenge. If signatures on a candidate’s Nomination Petitions are being challenged, the challenge must specifically identify the Nomination Petition page and line number for each signature being challenged, and the reasons why the signatures are being challenged. For more information see A.R.S. §16-351 and A.R.S. §16-351.01.

Any candidate in any election can be challenged by any registered voter.

How do I complete the top portion of my petition?

The purpose of the petition is to tell people who you are and what you are running for. Read the petition language carefully, and fill in the information requested in the blanks provided. Make sure the top portion of the petition is filled out with the correct election date, name of the district and office you are running for.

While we want to make sure you are as informed as possible, we cannot tell you how to fill out your paperwork. If you need help, you can consult your county political party office, or seek advice from an attorney.

How do I register to vote and where can I get a form?

How:

  • Complete a voter registration form and answer all questions
  • Sign and date the voter registration form
  • If using the Arizona State registration form, remove the back sheet (save as your receipt)
  • Mail or drop off registration forms at our offices in Prescott or Cottonwood

Where:

  • Yavapai County Recorder’s Office, both in Cottonwood and Prescott
  • City or Town Clerk’s offices
  • Libraries throughout Yavapai County
  • Department of Motor Vehicles
  • United States Post Offices throughout Yavapai County
  • Visit the Register to Vote page on this website or www.servicearizona.com  and choose the Voter Registration icon

How do I run as a write-in candidate?

Write-in candidates are not required to gather signatures to qualify for the ballot. However, Write-in candidates are still required to form a committee (if applicable), file a nomination paper and a Financial Disclosure Statement (if applicable). Only candidates who file before the deadline will be considered “official write-in candidates.” Only official write-in candidates will have their names posted in the Vote Centers and have any votes cast for them counted. A list of write-in candidates is not sent with the early or vote by mail ballots and it is up to the candidates to advertise their candidacy.

Write-In Candidate Filing Deadlines

  • County office – 40 days prior to the election.
  •  Special District board or Precinct Committeemen – 76 days prior to the election.

How do I run as an "independent" candidate?

“Independent” describes any candidate that is not registered to vote with one of the major (recognized) political parties. For a list of parties that are recognized in Yavapai County, please see the County Candidate Signature Requirements sheet for County candidates.

Independent candidates do not run in the Primary Election, but will instead appear on the General Election ballot. However, the filing deadline for Nomination Papers and Petitions is the same as the candidates who are running in the Primary. The procedures for running as an independent candidate are the same as those for candidates registered with a political party, except that independent candidates file slightly different petitions and nomination paperwork. Download a County Candidate Packet and after filling out the form, choose the link for “Non-Recognized Party Candidates (All other parties).”

How do I submit my early ballot?

Sign your affidavit envelope before sealing. Without your signature your vote will not be counted.

  • Ballots may be mailed or dropped off at early voting sites or drop box locations (listed below).   
  • Ballots may be dropped off at any Yavapai County Vote Center on Election Day.
  • Ballots must be received by 7:00 PM on Election Day; postmarks do not apply.

For more information, you may contact Voter Registration.

Early voting drop off mailbox locations are as follows:

Are Early Ballots counted?

Yes, every verified ballot is counted by Early Boards.

How do I vote early or request a mail ballot?

  • To request a ballot by mail contact our office, either verbally or in writing, email, or through our Early Ballot Request website no sooner than 93 days or no later than 11 days prior to an election. (We start mailing the ballots 27 days prior to the Election).
  • If you will be out of town through the early voting period you may request that an early ballot be mailed to the address where you will be staying.
  • You may vote in person from 27 days prior to the election up to 5:00 p.m. on the Friday preceding the election at our offices at 1015 Fair St, Room 228 in Prescott or 10 S 6th St in Cottonwood for Vote Center elections.  For Vote by Mail elections, in person voting is available until 7:00PM on Election Day.

How many signatures do I need to get?

The number of nominating signatures you must get varies by position and party. Signature requirements are based on the voter registration totals reported on March 1st of the election year. Before March 1st, only “Unofficial” signature requirements are available.

How much can someone contribute to my campaign?

Current campaign contribution limits are available on the Arizona Secretary of State’s website. There are no limits to how much a candidate can contribute to their own campaign.

I want to campaign at polling places on Election Day - have signs up, tables, people handing out pamphlets, etc. What do I need to know?

75-Foot Limit – This is a boundary around the vote center that has the purpose of insulating voters from campaigning while they are trying to vote.

Not allowed inside 75-Foot Limit:

  • Electioneering (any verbal communication of support or opposition, whether for a candidate, a political party that has candidates on the ballot, or a question on the ballot)
  • Photographers & Media
  • Anyone loitering
  • Candidates and political action committees cannot have tables, people campaigning, etc., inside the 75-foot limit.

Allowed inside 75-Foot Limit:

  • Voters can take written materials (sample ballots, pamphlets, etc.) into the vote center with them.
  • Voters can have children or another person there to assist them – except, candidates that are on the ballot are not allowed to assist voters.
  • Normal business activities

Except in the case of an emergency, any facility that is used as a Vote Center on Election Day is required to allow electioneering and other political activity outside of the 75-foot limit, in public areas and parking lots used by voters. Consult our website for the listing of any facilities which do not allow electioneering.

Not allowed on vote center property:

  • Temporary or permanent structures (canopies, tents, etc.) in public areas and parking lots
  • Blocking or restricting access to walkways or parking spaces for voters. Keep traffic and walkways clear – Any areas used and traveled by voters (sidewalks, parking lots, etc.) should not be blocked in any way (even partially) with your signs, vehicles, tables, chairs, or supporters.
  • Sign placement and tampering – Do not place signs at the Vote Center without first checking with the property owner or manager. Some Vote Center facilities have designated specific areas they have approved for sign placement. Unauthorized signs on private property may be removed. State and many local laws also govern placement of signs on public and private property, as well as removal, alteration or defacing political signs. The Posting of Candidate Signs can give you some guidelines, but it is your responsibility to make sure you are following the most current laws in each area you are posting signs.

PLEASE BE AWARE: The County does not generally lease the entire facility for voting purposes, and most Vote Center locations have normal business activities occurring on Election Day. An increasing number of Vote Center property owners have expressed concern with Election Day mistreatment of their property, unauthorized borrowing of furniture or use of resources, interference with their customers or patrons, and concern with damage resulting from signs on the premises. Vote Center property owners are required to allow electioneering, but they are not required to be a Vote Center. We recommend that you seek permission from the property owner or manager of any Vote Center that you want to campaign at on Election Day.

I want to review my opponent's petitions. What do I do?

Nomination Petitions are available for public inspection and purchase from the Elections Department. To check the signatures on candidate petitions against the Voter Registration records, you must:

  1. Submit a Public Data Request Form with the Elections office.
  2. Purchase copies of the desired candidate’s petitions from our office at $0.25 per page.
  3. Schedule an appointment with the Voter Registration Department for use of their public computer.

If you want to look at another candidate’s petitions and do not want copies, you can do so under direct supervision of Elections Department staff, but you cannot use this option if you want to check the signatures against the Voter Registration records.

I’ve decided to run for office, what do I need to know?

  1. First, find out who your filing office is and where they are located. Not all candidates file at the County Elections office. It depends on which elected position you’re interested in. See also: Where do I get my candidate paperwork and where do I file? (below)
  2. Pull a candidate packet. The packet contains all the forms and information you need to run for office. See also: Where do I get my candidate paperwork and where do I file? (below)
  3. Register your committee (if applicable) by filing a Statement of Organization. You can form a committee at any time. For more information see A.R.S. §16-905.
    If you spend or collect, in aggregate, more than $1,000, you must file a Statement of Organization. You are then required to file quarterly and pre-election Campaign Finance Reports through the election, and once more when the committee terminates. See also: Campaign Contributions and Campaign Finance Report Dates.
  4. Circulate your petitions and gather signatures. See also: Petitions.
  5. File your paperwork with the appropriate filing office. See also: Where do I get my candidate paperwork and where do I file? (below) 

If I am an independent, can I be a Precinct Committeeman?

No. You must be registered to vote with one of the political parties recognized in the State to be a Precinct Committeeman for that party. For a list of the current recognized parties, please see signature requirements sheet in the Precinct Committeemen Candidate Packet.

If I did not vote in the Primary Election, can I still vote in the General Election?

Yes, you do not have to vote in every election to keep your registration active.  However, if a voter is on the inactive list through two Federal Elections (four consecutive years) the registration will be cancelled.

If I don't win in the Primary Election, can I run as an independent or write-in in the General Election?

No. If you don’t “win” the Primary, or if you don’t get enough signatures to qualify for the Primary, you cannot run as a write-in or as an “Independent” candidate in the General Election.

For more information see A.R.S. §16-312 and A.R.S. §16-341

The Election is over. I'm done now, right?

If your committee filed a Statement of Organization, your candidate committee remains open and “active” until you close it with a Termination Statement. When you terminate your committee, you must file a final Campaign Finance Report.

What are "Conditional Provisional Ballots?"

You will be asked to vote a conditional provisional ballot at the vote center if you fail to show acceptable ID. Your vote will be counted if you bring acceptable ID back to the voting center on Election Day or to the County Recorder’s Office (or designated sites) by:

       5 Business days after the General Election

       3 Business days after any other Election

What are Provisional Ballots?

You will be asked to vote a Provisional Ballot at a Vote Center if your name is not on the register, and if:

  • You have changed your name or address and have not re-registered twenty-nine (29) days prior to an election
  • You did not vote the early ballot you requested
  • You are on the Permanent Early Voter List (PEVL)
  • You voted early in person
  • You are not a registered voter

If voted an early ballot, you will vote a Provisional Ballot at a Vote Center.

What are the voting options for military personnel or US citizens residing outside the United States?

There are procedures set forth by the Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) just for overseas and military voters.  For more information on the FVAP you may contact our office or the FVAP online.

What are the voting options for those who are Homebound, residing at a Nursing Home or Assisted Living facility?

  • Sign up for the Permanent Early Voter List (PEVL) so all ballots will be mailed automatically.
  • Request a mail ballot by contacting our office, either verbally or in writing, no sooner than 93 days or no later than 11 days prior to an election.
  • Individuals who are unable to vote without assistance should contact our office for more details about special services that may be available from our Travel Board. 

What does Arizona's Open Primary Law mean?

“At primary elections there shall be provided a separate ballot for each party entitled to participate in the primary.” (A.R.S. §16-467(A))

  • Each “recognized” political party shall have a separate ballot for partisan primary elections.
  • In Arizona, the recognized parties are DEMOCRAT, GREEN, LIBERTARIAN and REPUBLICAN.
  • If you are registered as one of the Recognized Parties, you shall receive your party’s ballot.
  • Due to a ruling by the U.S. District Court, the Arizona Libertarian party is not included in Arizona open primary; the ruling specifically states, “The Defendant is permanently enjoined from requiring the Libertarian party to allow voters who are not registered as Libertarians from casting a ballot in any Libertarian primary.” ARIZONA LIBERTARIAN PARTY vs. BREWER, dated September 25, 2007. What this means, is that you may only vote a LIBERTARIAN ballot if you are registered as a LIBERTARIAN.
  • If you are registered as INDEPENDENT, NON-PARTISAN or as a member of an unrecognized political party, you may choose ONE and only ONE, of the available recognized party ballots to vote.
  • Once you have chosen a party ballot you cannot exchange it for another party ballot.

Permanent Early Voter List (PEVL) and the Primary Election

Ninety days (90) prior to the Primary Election letters will be sent to all voters on the PEVL with information regarding the Primary and General Elections. Voters who aren’t registered with a recognized party will receive a form which will allow them to select the party ballot they wish to vote.  A ballot will not be mailed to unaffiliated voters until we receive a form indicating their ballot choice. You may also make your choice by contacting our office by phone, email or through our Early Ballot Request website.

If you have further questions on the open Primary please call our office (928) 771-3248.

What if I didn't have any financial activity this reporting period?

If you did not have any income or expenditures, including fees or interest, you must still file page 1 of the Campaign Finance Report.

What if I don't have a committee, it's just me?

Most candidates can be a “committee of one,” and act as their own Chairman and Treasurer. However, if you are a candidate for judicial office, we recommend that you refer to the Arizona Code of Judicial Conduct for additional guidelines.

What is a “Vote by Mail” election?

  • Every qualified elector registered within the boundaries of the jurisdiction having the “Vote By Mail” election will automatically be mailed a ballot.
  • There are no Vote Centers on Election Day.
  • Your voted ballot must be received by Voter Registration or the jurisdiction no later than 7:00 pm on Election Day.
  • Ballots may either be mailed or deposited at the drop boxes at the County Buildings in Prescott or Cottonwood or the drop box of the jurisdiction holding the election.
  • Replacement ballots are available, starting 27 days prior to the election, at our offices in Prescott and / or Cottonwood depending on the jurisdictions holding the election.
  • Contact Voter Registration if you have not received your ballot or you need a replacement ballot.
  • The last day to request a replacement ballot to be mailed is 11 days prior to any election; though vote in-person replacement ballots are available until 7:00PM on Election Day.

What is the deadline for registration prior to an election

To be eligible for an election you must be registered or have the changes submitted no later than twenty-nine days (29) prior to the election.

What is the difference between a Financial Disclosure Statement and Campaign Finance Reports?

A Financial Disclosure Statement is a report of your personal finances, and is filed at the same time as your Nomination Paper and Petitions. Special District candidates do not have to file Financial Disclosure Statements. County Elected Officials also file an annual Financial Disclosure with the Clerk of the Board of Supervisors.

Campaign Finance Reports track all the money that a committee has collected and spent. Campaign Finance Reports are filed several times during the year, and cover specific periods of time. All committees who file a Statement of Organization, including Special District candidates, are responsible for filing Campaign Finance Reports. Campaign Finance Reports are required until you file a Termination Statement to close your committee.

NOTE: Precinct Committeemen do not form committees, file Financial Disclosure Statements or Campaign Finance Reports.

What should I do if I make a mistake on my early ballot?

If you make a mistake on your early ballot, call our office for instructions:

  • We may mail you a replacement ballot.
  • You may bring your ballot in to a designated early voting site for replacement.
  • You may go to a vote center on Election Day and vote.

What should I expect prior to the election?

  • You must be registered to vote twenty-nine (29) days prior to an election to be eligible to vote.
  • You do not have to re-register if there are no changes to your current registration (name, residential address, party affiliation).
  • If you signed up for the Permanent Early Voter List or requested an early ballot, a ballot will be mailed to you.
  • If you are not on the Permanent Early Voter List or have not requested an early ballot, a sample ballot will be sent to the address on your registration form.
  • By law sample ballots will be sent 11 days prior to a federal, state or county primary or general voting center elections.
  • The sample ballot will list the candidates and measures to be voted on at the election.

When can I begin accepting contributions?

You can begin accepting or spending any money on your campaign, distributing any campaign literature or circulating petitions  any time. However, once the aggregate of contributions and expenses exceeds $1,000, you must file a Statement of Organization. See also I’ve decided to run for office, what do I do next? (above)

More information – Chapter 6 CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS AND EXPENSES

When can I begin gathering signatures?

You can begin collecting nominating petition signatures at any time. See also I’ve decided to run for office, what do I do next?

When do I file my petitions?

Petitions are filed between 120 and 90 days before the election. Exact dates can be found on our website under Elections & Results. Click on the Election for a list of important dates, including when candidates file.

“Independent” candidates (not registered with one of the political parties recognized in Yavapai County) do not run in the Primary Election, but are still required to file their Nomination Paper and petitions at the same time as candidates who are running in the Primary.

PLEASE BE AWARE: The last week of the candidate filing period is busy for the filing office and for candidates. If you choose to file during that time period, please be prepared to wait in line.

When do I re-register and can I make changes by phone or email?

  • A voter must re-register if they change their name or residential address, or wish to change their party affiliation.
  • You may contact our office by phone or email to change a mailing address or provide a temporary mailing address. A new registration form is required when you change your name, residential address or party affiliation.

When is a voter placed on the inactive Voter Registration list?

When election material is returned as undeliverable by the Post Office, the following occurs:

  • A follow-up notice is sent within three (3) weeks of the returned notice to the address that appears on the general register or to the forwarding address provided by the U.S. Postal Service and will include a registration form.
  • If the county recorder does not receive a new registration form containing the new information within thirty-five (35) days following the second mailing, the name of the of the voter is transferred to an inactive list.

When is a voter registration cancelled?

Arizona Revised Statutes require that registrations shall be cancelled for the following reasons:

  • At the request of the person registered
  • When the county recorder has been notified of the death of a person registered
  • When the county recorder has received written notification that the person registered has been adjudicated an incapacitated person as defined in ARS §14-1501
  • When the county recorder has been notified that the person registered has been convicted of a felony
  • When the county recorder has been notified in writing that the person registered has moved from the county and registered outside Yavapai County
  • When a person has been on the inactive voter list for four consecutive years OR THROUGH THE DATE OF THE SECOND general election for federal offices following the date of the notification from the County Recorder.

When is my registration completed and confirmed?

Once your registration form is accepted and processed, you will receive a voter ID card in approximately two to four weeks. If you lose or misplace your voter ID card, you can call Voter Registration for a replacement.

Where can I get a map of my precinct or district?

You can view a map of your precinct or district online using the GIS Mapping Applications. Printed maps for precincts, Supervisor, Justice of the Peace, Legislative and Congressional Districts can be purchased from the County Elections Department.

Printed Map Rates:

Map Size (all color) First Print Reprint (same map)
8 ½ x 11” (letter) $5.00 $2.00
11 x 17” (tabloid) $10.00 $5.00
36 x 48” (wall) $20.00 $10.00

Wall maps can take up to 1 hour to print, so calling in ahead with your map order works best.

Where can I put campaign signs?

Rules on where you can post signs vary according to where the signs will be located. A quick reference guide to the local sign ordinances is included in the County Candidate Packet, but it is your responsibility to make sure you are following the most current laws in each area you are posting signs.

Where do I get my candidate paperwork and where do I file?

Filing Offices:

  • County office – receive and file paperwork with the County Elections Office in Prescott. County candidate packets are available beginning in June of the year preceding the election year. The County Candidate Packet is available online. Just fill out a simple form and download the packet. The packet can be saved on your computer, or you can sign in to the website anytime to get the forms you need.
  • Special District boards – receive and file paperwork with the County Elections Office in Prescott. Special District candidate packets are available around 150 days prior to the district’s election. The Special District Candidate Packet is available online. The packet can be saved on your computer, or you can go to the website anytime to get the forms you need.
  • Precinct Committeemen – receive and file paperwork with your County political party. Precinct Committeemen packets are available in mid-March of the election year. Precinct Committeemen packets are given to the County political party offices to distribute to interested candidates. The Precinct Committeemen Packet is available online. The packet can be saved on your computer, or you can go to the website any time to get the forms you need.
  • School Board – receive and file paperwork with the Yavapai County Education Service Agency (ESA) Office.
  • State or Federal Office – receive and file paperwork with the Arizona Secretary of State’s Office.
  • City or Town Council Seat – receive and file paperwork with that City or Town Clerk’s office. Click here for Government Related Links.

Who can register to vote?

  • A citizen of the United States –Citizenship Requirements
  • A resident of Arizona
  • A convicted felon whose rights have been restored
  • A person who is 18 years of age or older by the next General Election

It is a class 6 felony to register if you do not meet the above qualifications.

Who can sign my petitions?

Signatures must be obtained from qualified electors who are eligible to vote for the candidate whose nomination petition they are signing. If you are running for a County office, signers are registered in the district you are running for, registered with your same political party, or registered “independents.” If you are running for a Special District, anyone registered to vote in your district can sign your petitions.

PLEASE NOTE: If you are running for a Special District that crosses into another county, you can collect signatures from voters in the other county, but you will want separate petition pages for each County.

Who do I call to complain about a political sign?

The Elections office provides candidates with guidelines on sign posting, but is not an enforcement agency. You can call the Public Works Department for whichever government area (e.g. State, County, City or Town) that the sign is in for more information on filing a complaint. See also: Quick Reference Guide
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