Candidates: Keep on Campaigning! Lots of Voters Still Haven’t Cast Their Ballots

It appears as though there are a lot of voters who still haven’t made up their minds about who they’re voting for in Tuesday’s primary—or whether they’re going to vote at all.

The Pima County Recorder’s Office sent out 118,713 early ballots this year—a record number, mostly due to the new permanent early-voter list we reported on a few months ago.

How many of those ballots will be cast by Sept. 2 remains to be seen. So far, about 54 percent of voters have sent their early ballots back in, according to numbers from Chris Roads at the Pima County Recorder’s Office.

In recent years, the percentage of Pima County voters who sent early ballots back in after requesting them in comparable primaries has ranged from 73 to 84 percent. We predict the percentage will drop this year because the biggest race on many ballots is for the Arizona Corporation Commission. There’s no fiery congressional or gubernatorial campaign at stake, so many of the folks who got ballots because they’re on the permanent list will look at their choices and ask themselves: “What’s the point?”

Even in the competitive legislative and county races, the return rate is hovering around 50 percent. (These numbers were current as of Friday morning, but the percentages will increase as more early ballots are processed.)

In the GOP primary in Legislative District 26, where Rep. Pete Hershberger is facing Al Melvin, about 16,210 GOP ballots went out in Pima County and 8,073 have been returned. (Keep in mind that additional ballots are being cast in Pinal County.)

In the Democratic primary in Legislative District 27, where John Kromko is hoping to unseat either Phil Lopes or Olivia Cajero Bedford, 10,324 ballots went out and 5,249 have come back in.

The Democratic Seven-Way Super Slam in Legislative District 29 features the most candidates and the fewest ballots. A grand total of 7,974 were mailed out and 4,087 have come back.

In the GOP District 30 House race between Sharon Collins, David Gowan, Frank Antenori and Doug Sposito, 16,960 ballots were mailed out and 8,309 have come back. (As in District 26, there are additional ballots being cast outside Pima County.)

In the GOP primary between Pima County Supervisor Ann Day and challenger Joe Higgins in District 1, 18,294 ballots were mailed and 9010 had come back.

In the Democratic primary between Pima County Supervisor Ramon Valadez and challenger Robert Robuck, 8,432 ballots were mailed out and 4,267 had come back.

In the Democratic primary between Pima County Supervisor Sharon Bronson and challenger Donna Branch Gilby, 10,280 ballots were mailed and 5,104 have come back.

Important note: Those numbers do not include independent voters. The Recorder’s Office is still breaking those down for us. We’ll bring you the indy numbers as they come in.

Voters who have not yet mailed in their ballots might want to consider just turning it into the polls on Tuesday, especially since the Labor Day holiday means no mail delivery on Monday.


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