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Fair Elections Begin with Knowing Your Voting Rights

(Phoenix, Ariz. – October 29, 2004)  Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard wants to make sure the 2004 election goes without controversy.  This list of voting rights for Arizona voters should answer some important questions before they head to the polls on Tuesday.

“Voting is a fundamental right.  It is generally a simple and straight forward experience,” Goddard said.  “On rare occasions voters may have questions or encounter special circumstances.  I hope the following points will help avoid confusion.”

The following is a list of voting rights:

  • Polls are open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.  If you are in line during these times, you have the right to vote (A.R.S. § 16-565(A), 16-565(D)).
  • Once you are within 75 feet of a polling location, no one may try to influence your vote (A.R.S. § 16-515(A)).
  • If you made a mistake or damage your ballot, you have the right to request a replacement ballot at your assigned polling place (A.R.S. § 16-585).
  • If you have moved within the same county and didn’t file an address change with the county recorder before Election Day, you have the right to vote a provisional ballot at the polling place for your new residence (A.R.S. § 16-135(B)).
  • If you registered to vote in time and your name doesn’t appear on the poll list, you have the right to vote a provisional ballot at the polling place for your residence (ARS § 16-584(B)).
  • You have the right to bring your children into the voting booth with you (ARS § 16-515(D)).
  • You have the right to request assistance from a person of your choice or by two election officials (one from each party) at the polling place.  If you bring someone to assist you, he or she may not engage in electioneering within the 75 foot limit (A.R.S. §§ 16-578 (c), 16-515).
  • If you have a disability or are over 65 and the voting location is inaccessible, you have the right to vote by an alternative method, including curbside voting (A.R.S. § 16-581(A)).

Voters who experience problems at their polling place should contact their County Election Director immediately.  Attached is a list of current phone numbers for each County Elections Director.

Goddard also wants to assure Arizona residents that they have the right to vote without fear of discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, ancestry or national origin  (A.R.S. § 41-1421).  Attempts to interfere with a voters opportunity to vote is prohibited by law (A.R.S. § 16-1013, 16-1017).

Any person who believes that he or she has been a victim of voter discrimination should contact the Arizona Attorney General’s Office’s Civil Rights Division.  

Residents living in the Phoenix area can call to file a charge or get more information:

602-542-5263
877-624-8090 (TTY toll free)
877-491-5742 (Outside Phoenix toll free)

Residents living in the Tucson area can call to file a charge or get more information:

520-628-6500
877-881-7552 (TTY toll free)
877-491-5740 (Outside Tucson toll free)

“At the Attorney General’s Office, we are making every effort to be sure that this election is conducted fairly for all voters,” Goddard said.  “Anyone who obstructs that process or denies voters their rights will be prosecuted.”