Election Day is still two days away, but Maricopa County voters had a chance to get their vote in early at several locations throughout the Valley on Saturday.
Voters stopped by five “emergency” vote centers throughout the day to fill in their ballot ahead of the official Election Day on Tuesday.
Phoenix resident Taiwah Vincent voted at the Maricopa County Tabulation and Elections Department in downtown Phoenix. She had already been downtown running errands, so it was convenient to drop by and vote.
Vincent wasn’t especially concerned about one particular candidate or issue. She said she was more focused on voting in line with the ideals she thought would lead to positive changes in the current political climate.
“It doesn’t matter what party you are — I think we all see something has to change,” Vincent said.
Others, like 19-year-old James Hend, took advantage of the early-voting day knowing he wouldn’t be able to stop by a polling location on Tuesday. He planned to research the candidates on the spot while he filled in his ballot.
Katie Glenn and Linda Kavanus dropped off their ballots at the Mesa County Recorder’s Office after they missed the deadline to mail them in. They both used to vote in person, but the mail-in ballot has made it easier to thoroughly research the candidates beforehand and was more convenient for their work schedules.
The GOP in Arizona has a solid lead in early-voting data: 41.8 percent are Republicans, compared with 33.9 percent for Democrats; 24 percent are unaffiliated, according to the Arizona Secretary of State’s Office.
But the early results didn’t seem to have an effect on the voters who came through the Phoenix and Mesa locations.
“I go in and vote for who I want to vote for whether they’re ahead or behind,” Glenn said. “I always go in and I still want my vote to be counted. I wish we could get more people to understand the power of the vote.”
Voter registration soared statewide ahead of the midterm election. Figures from the Secretary of State’s Office showed the number of newly registered voters this year was more than double compared with the last midterm election.
The following vote-center locations will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday: