Maricopa County Recorder's Office

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are answers to your questions for the Recorder's and Elections departments. Please click on "Election FAQs" below for Election information, "Early Voting FAQs" for Early Voting information, and "Recorder FAQs" for Recorder information.

Elections FAQs

1.Who can register?

  • A citizen of the United States of America.
  • A resident of Arizona.
  • An individual who is 18 Years of age or older before the next Statewide General Election.
  • An individual who has not been convicted of a felony or treason, if so, your civil rights have been restored.
  • An individual who has not been adjudicated incompetent (A.R.S. § 14-5101)

2. When is a person registered?

  • When the voter registration form is received or delivered to the Elections Department at least 29 days before the Election and all of the qualifications are meet and verified. Save the copy of the receipt of the registration form.

3. How do you register to vote?

  • By filling out the voter registration form, answering all questions.
  • By providing satisfactory evidence of United States Citizenship on the form or accompanied with the form.
  • By signing and dating the form.
  • By mailing in the form of registration to the County Elections office.
  • By completing the registration form at the County Elections office.
  • By completing the form online if you have a qualifying MVD record.

You can click here to visit our online voter registration page to get more detailed information on registering to vote.

4. When must you send in a new registration form?

  • When a voter has moved from one residence to another
  • When a voter changes their name.
  • When a voter needs to update their political party affiliation.
  • When an updated signature is needed

5. Where can I get a registration form?

  • You can register to vote or update your existing registration online at www.servicearizona.com using the "Voter Registration" link at that site if you have a "Qualifying MVD record". To have a "Qualifying MVD record" you must possess a valid Arizona Driver License, Identification Card or other record with a digitized signature on file with MVD.
  • You can click here to visit our voter registration page to download the form.
  • Pick up a form at the Maricopa County Elections office, click here for locations.
  • Pick up a form at a City or Town Clerks office.
  • Pick up a form at the U.S. Post Offices.
  • Pick up a form at libraries throughout Maricopa County
  • Pick up a form at various banks
  • Pick up a form at various supermarkets
  • A registration form can be mailed to you by calling 602-506-1511 or for the hearing impaired at 602-506-2348 (TDD).

6. When are the elections?

All regular elections are held either in March, May, August/September** or November. The regular countywide Primary and General Elections that contain Federal, State and County Offices are held in August/September** and November of the even numbered years (example, 2010, 2012, and so on). Once an election is called (120 days prior to one of the 4 possible election dates noted above), we will post that information on our "Elections Calendar" page. There is a special Presidential Preference Election (PPE) that is normally held in February in the year that the President of the United States is elected. This Presidential Preference Election is solely for voters registered within a specific political party to specify their preference for a candidate of their political party for the Office of President.

**The November General Election date always falls on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November. The August/September Primary Election date is then derived by counting back 10 weeks (10 Tuesdays) from this November Election date. Because of this, there will be years when the Primary Election will be held in August instead of September. As an example, the Countywide Primary Election of 2010 will be held on August 24, 2010.

7. How do I know where to vote?

The polling place information for a given election is always indicated on the shipping label on the sample ballot that will be sent at least 10 days before the election. In addition, if there are issues appearing on your ballot, then a Publicity or Informational Pamphlet may instead be mailed to you as early as 35 days prior to a given election. This Pamphlet will also contain your polling place information on the shipping label.

For a list of elections currently being conducted, you can visit our "Elections Calendar" page. If there is a current election being conducted that you qualify to participate in, you can also locate your polling place by visiting our "Polling Place Locator & Sample Ballots" button on our main "Election’s Homepage". You will need to provide your current residence address information. You may also contact our call center at 602-506-1511 for assistance in locating your polling place.

8. During what hours are the polls open?

On Election Day, all polls open at 6:00 am and close at 7:00 p.m.

9. I have registered as in independent. Can I vote in a Primary Election?

Yes, currently Arizona is an "Open Primary" state.  Independents may vote for candidates of recognized parties in a Primary Election. The only exception to this is the "Presidential Preference Election" (PPE) that is normally held in February in the year that the President of the United States is elected. This PPE election is solely for voters registered within a specific political party to specify their preference for a candidate of their political party for the Office of President.

10. I lost my voter identification card. How can I get another?

In person at one of our office locations or by contacting us at 602-506-1511 to have one mailed to you. Mailed voter ID cards are printed on a bi-weekly schedule and those should be received within 2 to 4 weeks of requesting.

11. My voter registration card says my party is PND. What is this?

PND stands for "Party Not Designated". This means that when you first registered to vote, there was no designation on your form of a political party affiliation or the field was left blank, so it was marked PND (Party Not Designated).

12. How do you vote early?

Click on the following link for Early Voting Instructions or click here to visit detailed Early Voting FAQ’s.

13. Where can I find information on the ballot issues?

If the ballot issue or issues are for a City, Town or School District, then links to the various jurisdictional websites can be found on our "Elections Calendar" page. Within these jurisdictional websites, detailed information should be provided regarding the ballot issues being offered. If the ballot issue or issues are for a Statewide measure (example: Propositions), detailed information regarding those can be found on the Arizona Secretary of State’s Office website at www.azsos.gov.  In addition, a Publicity Pamphlet or Informational Pamphlet will be mailed, prior to the election, to each voter or, depending on the type of election being conducted, to each household containing a registered voter. The mailing label on the back of the pamphlet will identify your polling place location. The pamphlet will also contain any pro/con arguments filed on a given issue or issues, if applicable.

14. What forms of identification are required in order to vote at the polls on Election Day?

Information on ID at the polls and the forms of identification required by Proposition 200, which was passed by Arizona voters in 2004, can be accessed by visiting our "ID? I Do! Do You?" button on the bottom right hand side of our main "Election’s Homepage". On this page, clicking on the "New Voting Requirements" link will open up a list of acceptable forms of identification for the polls.

15. How do I report a problem at my polling location on Election Day?

Report any problems at your polling location to the Maricopa County Elections Department by calling 602-506-1511 or online through our online "Voter Assistance Survey".

The online survey can be found by visiting our main "Election’s Homepage" and mouse over the "Elections" tab at the top of this page to enable the drop down list of available links. Then again mouse over the "Voter Assistant Information" link to view the additional group of specific assistance page links. In this group the "Voter Assistance Survey" link can be selected.

Clicking on the "Voter Assistance Survey" link will open up our online submission form that can be completed and instantly sent directly to us to report a polling place problem. We will review the submission, take action on it immediately and contact you back, if requested or required.

16. Why does my polling place keep changing?

Every effort will be expended to ensure that voting is as convenient as possible for all voters of Maricopa County. Due to the fact that all polling place locations are facilities that voluntarily provide us access to the use of their building, the possibility exists that previously used polling place sites may not be available for a given election if the facility does not allow us to use their building for that given election. We ask voters to carefully check their Sample Ballots and/or Publicity Pamphlet mailings for their polling place location.

It is possible that an emergency could occur at a given polling place that could prevent the use of that particular facility (example: fire, damage, etc.) even after the Sample Ballots and/or Publicity Pamphlet mailings have gone out. If this is ever the case, an additional "Polling Place Change" postcard notice, that indicates the new location, will be sent as quickly as possible to all affected households that contain a registered voter. In addition, signs will be posted at the former polling place location to inform voters of the change and to provide them with the new location information.

To verify the polling place location for your area, click on the "Polling Place Locator & Sample Ballots" button on our main "Election’s Homepage". You will need to provide your current residence address information. You may also call contact our call center at 602-506-1511 for assistance in verifying your polling place location.

17. How can I find out the Election Day results?

Early (Unofficial) Election results will provided on Maricopa County's website beginning at 8:00 p.m. on Election Day. The main "Election’s Homepage" will display a "View Election Results" link. These results will be updated periodically as new totals come in or as we complete the processing of early ballots and/or provisional ballots that were dropped off on election night.

18. When do the election results become final?

The Final (Official) Election results will be posted on the "View Election Results" link when all of the ballots have been counted. It does not matter what the current or periodically updated election results reflect, who is leading or who has been declared the victor by the media, ALL BALLOTS ARE STILL COUNTED, AND THERE ARE NO EXCEPTIONS!!! Results are not considered "Final" or "Official" until all* of the ballots have been tabulated.

*This includes early ballots received before the election, Election Day ballots voted at the polls, early ballots dropped off at the polls and all provisional ballots voted at the polls.

Depending on the size of the election (example: Local Election versus Presidential Countywide Election) and the volume of early ballots dropped off at the polls in conjunction with the number of provisional ballots cast, this process can take up to 6 days all the way up to 20 days. The reason is that every early ballot has to be signature verified and every provisional ballot has to be researched, verified, validated and processed for tabulation.

State Law (A.R.S.§16-642) states that the County has up to 20 days following the election to provide final results. It is always the Election Departments goal to effectively and efficiently process all ballots so that we can finalize the results as quickly as possible. This has to be done, however, without sacrificing quality and accuracy for speed.

When ALL ballots have been counted, (Official) final results will be available on our website and they will be noted as "OFFICIAL FINAL RESULTS". In addition, if a City or Town is holding an election, many of the Cities and Towns will also host election results from their websites. Our "Elections Calendar" page will identify which of the Cities or Towns are holding elections and it also provides links to the various jurisdictional websites.

19. If I have a question or concern, how do I contact the Election’s Department?

The best way to contact the Elections Department is though our call center at 602-506-1511. These agents are able to handle almost any inquiry; from checking to see if you are registered, requesting an early ballot, checking on the status of an early ballot and so on.

You may also contact the Elections Department via email. To expedite the reply, please use the specific email address noted below based on the type of question or concern you have.

We also have online survey and feedback forms that can be used to submit an inquiry or make a comment.

  • For all questions, comments, or suggestions use our online Feedback form.
  • For issues relating to your voting experience at the polls use our online Voter Assistance Survey form.

20. Are there any other sites that are useful for election information?

Below are several informative webpage links to other governmental and election related resources:

FEDERAL LEVEL

  • Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP). The Official website providing voting information and assistance to Overseas Citizens, Uniformed Services Members and their families: www.fvap.gov
  • Overseas Vote Foundation. A nonpartisan organization that assists Overseas Citizens, Uniformed Services Members and their families with the election process: www.overseasvotefoundation.org
  • U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC). Established by the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA), the EAC is an independent, bipartisan commission charged with developing guidance to meet HAVA requirements, adopting voluntary voting system guidelines for testing laboratories, accrediting laboratories and certifying voting systems: www.eac.gov
  • Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA). Legislation passed by Congress to establish a program to replace punch card voting systems, assist in the administration of Federal elections and other issues relating to Federal election laws and programs: www.usdoj.gov/crt/voting/hava/hava.php
  • Federal Election Commission (FEC). An independent regulatory agency established by Congress to administer and enforce the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA) which deals with Federal Campaign Finance Law that deals with contributions used to finance federal elections: www.fec.gov
  • U.S. Government’s Official Web Portal: www.USA.gov
  • National Student/Parent Mock Election. Information about the project: www.nationalmockelection.org
STATE LEVEL
  • Secretary of State of Arizona. Official website for State election information: www.azsos.gov
  • Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission. Information on the redistricting of Congressional and Legislative districts within the State of Arizona: www.azredistricting.org
  • Motor Vehicle Division’s (MVD) "EZ Voter" Online Registration. Allows a voter to submit a new or update voter registration form using their MVD data and digitized signature on file. To use this process, your MVD information (name, residence address, etc.) must be current: https://servicearizona.com/webapp/evoter/
  • State of Arizona. Official website for the State of Arizona: www.az.gov/webapp/portal
  • Kids Voting Arizona. A nonprofit, nonpartisan, voter education program geared towards creating lifelong voting habits in children and increase adult voter turnout: www.kidsvoteaz.org
  • Arizona Supreme Court Judicial Performance Review (JPR). The JPR provides information about the performance of Arizona's judges to the public for its use in reaching decisions regarding retention of judges for the November General Election ballots: www.azjudges.info
  • Arizona State Legislature. Official website of the legislature where you can track pending legislation, review current legislation and laws, contact individual legislators and more: www.azleg.gov

COUNTY LEVEL

  • Maricopa County. Official website providing a list of County departments & more: www.Maricopa.gov
Early Voting FAQs

Note: The following questions and answers are provided to clarify various election processes but primarily those dealing with early voting. To see more general "Election FAQ's", select the "Elections FAQs" link on this page.

1. When are the elections?

All elections are held either in March, May, August/September** or November. The regular countywide Primary and General Elections that contain Federal, State and County Offices are held in August/September** and November of the even numbered years (example, 2010, 2012, and so on). Once an election is called (120 days prior to one of the 4 possible election dates noted above), we will post that information on our "Elections Calendar" page. There is a special Presidential Preference Election (PPE) that is normally held in February in the year that the President of the United States is elected. This Presidential Preference Election is solely for voters registered within a specific political party to specify their preference for a candidate of their political party for the Office of President.

**The November General Election date always falls on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November. The August/September Primary Election date is then derived by counting back 10 weeks (10 Tuesdays) from this November Election date. Because of this, there will be years when the Primary Election will be held in August instead of September. As an example, the Countywide Primary Election of 2010 will be held on August 24, 2010.

2. What is Early Voting?

"Early Voting" is a process (formerly known as "absentee" voting) where a registered voter can request to either have a ballot mailed to them or vote in-person begin at 26 days before the actual election day for a given election.

Prior to 1992, in order for a voter to qualify to receive a ballot before Election Day, a voter had to submit a sworn affidavit attesting to the fact that they would be "absent" from their voting residence and therefore unable to vote at the polls on Election Day. With a law change in 1992, any voter can now request a ballot "early" and the restrictions were lifted that required that the voter be absent in order to request a ballot early. With the removal of the "absentee" clause, this process of voting was renamed "early voting" since any registered voter can now request an early ballot without needing an excuse or reason. The ballot used for early voting is the exact same ballot that is used at the polling place on Election Day.

3. Who is eligible to vote early in an election?

All residents who are registered voters on or before the close of registration for a given election (29 days prior to any election) are eligible to vote early if an election is being held for their City, Town or district. For countywide elections, all registered voters in Maricopa County are eligible to vote. For City, Town, School or Special District elections, you must be a resident of that City, Town or district in order to participate. To determine if you are registered to vote, please call the Maricopa County Elections Department at (602) 506-1511, or click on the Am I Registered button on the main Election’s Homepage.

4. Where can I find information on the ballot issues?

If the ballot issue or issues are for a City, Town or School District, then links to the various jurisdictional websites can be found on our "Elections Calendar" page. Within these jurisdictional websites, detailed information should be provided regarding the ballot issues being offered. If the ballot issue or issues are for a Statewide measure (example: Propositions), detailed information regarding those can be found on the Arizona Secretary of State’s Office website at www.azsos.gov.  In addition, a Publicity Pamphlet or Informational Pamphlet will be mailed, prior to the election, to each voter or, depending on the type of election being conducted, to each household containing a registered voter. The mailing label on the back of the pamphlet will identify your polling place location. The pamphlet will also contain any pro/con arguments filed on a given issue or issues, if applicable.

5. When does early voting begin?

For standard elections, in-person early voting always begins at our main offices at 26 days prior to the election. In-person voting always ends on the last Friday before Election Day (4 days prior to Election Day). For our office hours and locations to vote in-person, visit the "Office Locations and Hours" page.

If the election is for a City or Town, the City/Town Clerk’s Office may also offer in-person early voting. Visit our main "Election’s Homepage" where we will post a link to the dates and locations for these satellite sites once that information is available.

For early voting ballots being sent by mail, these ballots always begin mailing at 26 days prior to any given election. If the election is an All-Mail Election, then the jurisdiction has the option of choosing a date to begin mailing that is within 26 to 15 days prior to the given election date.

To get the "specific" dates for the deadlines noted above, you can visit our "Elections Calendar" page that shows these exact dates for any scheduled election.

6. How do a request an early ballot to be mailed to me and what is the deadline for requesting this?

A voter who is eligible for a given election can request to have a ballot mailed to them beginning 93 days prior to the election. We will compile a list of these voters and these early ballots will then begin mailing 26 days prior to any given election.

All registered voters eligible for a given election, who want a ballot mailed to the mailing or residence address that is on file with us, can request an early ballot by calling the Maricopa County Elections Department at (602) 506-1511, by clicking on the "Request an Early Ballot" button on our main "Election’s Homepage" or by mailing in a written request for a ballot for a given election (See section below for information needed on a written request).

The deadline to request an early ballot to be mailed to you is the second Friday (11 days prior) before Election Day. If you miss this deadline you can still vote early in-person up until the last Friday (4 days prior) before Election Day. After this date, you will have to vote at your polling place location on Election Day.

To get the "specific" dates for the deadlines noted above, you can visit our "Elections Calendar" page that shows these exact dates for any scheduled election.

7. I have a FORWARDING order on file with the Post Office; will my ballot be redirected to this address?

NO!!! All official election materials, such as ballots, are marked (as required by law) "Do Not Forward – Return Service Requested". As such, the early ballot cannot be forwarded and will be returned to us even if you have a forwarding order on file. With a forwarding order on file, you will get normal mail, sample ballots, candidate/campaign mailings forwarded but not this "Official Election Material" mailing. If the early ballot is returned to us indicating you are no longer at the residence address on file or that a forwarding order is on file, then this will begin the process of deactivating your voter registration record.

If you need to have the early ballot mailed to a "temporary" mailing address, then see the instructions included below in the next question.

8. How do I request to have a ballot mailed to a "temporary" mailing address?

If you wish to have a ballot mailed to a "temporary" mailing address then you CANNOT use the online or phone method for requesting your early ballot. Instead, you must submit a signed written request so that we can verify your signature against what we have on file to ensure that it is indeed you, the voter, which is asking to have your ballot redirected to an alternate address.

Your written request must include the following:

  • FULL NAME
  • DATE OF BIRTH
  • MARICOPA COUNTY RESIDENCE ADDRESS
  • MAIL-TO ADDRESS
  • SIGNATURE
  • A NOTE PROVIDING US PERMISSION AND SPECIFICALLY REQUESTING THAT WE SEND YOUR EARLY BALLOT, FOR THE UPCOMING ELECTION, TO THE MAIL-TO ADDRESS PROVIDED

You can fax this written request to 602-506-5112 or you can mail it to:

MARICOPA COUNTY ELECTIONS
ATTN: EARLY VOTING
510 S 3RD AVE
PHOENIX AZ 85003

9. What if I have moved, can I still request an early ballot to my old address?

NO!!! If you have not directly updated your registration record with the Elections Department, you will need to do this BEFORE you can request an early ballot.

You may have updated your information with the Post Office or MVD but updating with the Post Office, MVD or any other governmental agency will not automatically update your voter registration record with us. We are all separate agencies and as such you will need to visit the "How Do I Update My Voter Registration" button on our main "Election’s Homepage".

In addition, on this main "Election’s Homepage" you can verify your registration information by using the "Am I Registered to Vote" button. Enter your current address information and if this is not valid, you can submit your former address information to see if that is the data we have on file for you. If the former information is on file, you will then need to update your registration before submitting your early ballot request.

Depending on the method you choose to update your record, you will then have to wait for your update form to be received, researched, validated and entered into our elections database before you can submit your early ballot request. If you qualified to submit your registration form online through www.servicearizona.com, using the "Voter Registration" link, then there is still a 3 business day delay before that form is received from MVD, researched, validated and entered into our elections database. You will receive a confirmation number that begins with the year submitted (e.g. 2010) after a successful "Voter Registration" submission. Be sure you keep this confirmation number since it is your proof that you indeed submitted a "Voter Registration" update online and not just an MVD address update. In addition, this number will be needed for tracking purposes should something unforeseen happen to your electronic submission.

10. Why can’t I request an early ballot to be mailed using my former address?

There are two reasons, the first is that all official election materials, such as ballots, are marked (as required by law) "Do Not Forward – Return Service Requested". As such, the early ballot cannot be forwarded and will be returned to us even if you have a forwarding order on file. With a forwarding order on file, you will get normal mail, sample ballots, candidate/campaign mailings forwarded but not this "Official Election Material" mailing. If the early ballot is returned to us indicating you are no longer at the residence address on file or that a forwarding order is on file, then this will begin the process of deactivating your voter registration record.

The second reason you cannot not use the former address is that all ballots are unique to the address you reside at. By this we mean that some of the candidates and issues appearing on your ballot are specific to your residence address. In other words, if you formerly lived in one city but now live in another, by receiving a ballot from your former address would mean you would be voting, as an example, for local city candidates, legislative candidates, taxing issues and so on that no longer will affect you.

More importantly is that it means you could lose your chance to vote on the local city candidates, legislative candidates and local issues that are specific to your current residence address that will directly affect you in the future (example: local taxing issues, school district bonds, local mayor and/or council, etc.).

11. If I signed up to be placed on Maricopa County's Permanent Early Voting List, will I automatically receive a ballot for the elections?

Yes. Unless you request in writing that your name be removed from the list, you will automatically be mailed an early ballot at 26 days prior to any election you are eligible to participate in. This is true of all current and future elections for which you are eligible to participate in, as long as your record remains current and active.

If you are on this list and move, remember to update your residence or mailing address on file otherwise the ballot will automatically be mailed and will then be returned to us. All official election materials, such as ballots, are marked (as required by law) "Do Not Forward – Return Service Requested".  As such, the early ballot cannot be forwarded and will be returned to us even if you have a forwarding order on file. With a forwarding order on file, you will get normal mail, sample ballots, candidate/campaign mailings forwarded but not this "Official Election Material" mailing. If the early ballot is returned to us indicating you are no longer at the residence address on file or that a forwarding order is on file, then this will begin the process of deactivating your voter registration record.

If you wish to verify if you are on the Permanent Early Voting List, you can visit the "Am I on the Permanent Early Voting List" button on our main "Election’s Homepage".

12. How do I get onto the Permanent Early Voting List?

In order to be included on the "Permanent Early Voting List", the voter must make a signed written request specifically asking to be added to the permanent list. The request must include: a statement requesting to be added to the "Permanent Early Voting List", the voter's name, residence address, mailing address within Maricopa County (if different than the residence address), date of birth and a signature for verification purposes.

You can visit the "Permanent Early Voting List & Signup Form" button on our main "Election’s Homepage". Here you will get the basic information about the Permanent Early Voting List (PEVL). In addition, there is a link on the bottom of this page titled "Permanent Early Voting List Request Form" that will take you to an online form that you can complete online, print it out, sign and then mail. The mailing address is provided on the online form.

It is NOT required that you use this specific form to make your request. If you do not have access to print this form, you can simply make a signed written request asking to be added to the permanent list OR you can contact our call center at 602-506-1511 to have a form mailed to you. Again, the request must include: a statement requesting to be added to the "Permanent Early Voting List", the voter's name, residence address, mailing address within Maricopa County (if different than the residence address), date of birth and a signature for verification purposes.

13. Can someone else pickup my early ballot?

No. An early ballot can only be mailed or provided directly to the voter who has made a request to vote an early ballot. This is to ensure that no other person has the opportunity to steal, alter or invalidate an early ballot.

14. When does my early ballot have to be RECEIVED in order to be counted?

Your early ballot must be received (POSTMARKS DO NOT COUNT) by 7:00 p.m. on Election Day in order to be counted. Please make sure that you return your early ballot by mail well in advance of the deadline date to ensure that your vote will be counted.

15. If I forgot to mail back my early ballot in time for it to be RECEIVED by the deadline, what can I do?

Voter’s can drop off their ballots sealed in the signed affidavit envelope that came with the early ballot at any polling place in Maricopa County, at any of our office locations or at any satellite site or City/Town Clerk’s Office that has an issue or candidates appearing on the given ballot, until 7:00 p.m. on Election Day. If you go to the polls to drop this off, you do not have to stand in line to do this. There are special drop boxes at each polling place location and at the office locations noted. NOTE: The ballot must be sealed within the signed affidavit envelope.

For a list of all polling places in Maricopa County, you can use the "Polling Place Detail Report" link that is located on the "Polling Place Locator & Sample Ballots" page. If you wish to locate a polling place for a specific address, you can find the "Polling Place Locator & Sample Ballots" button on our main "Election’s Homepage".

For our office locations, visit the "Office Locations and Hours" page. For a list of satellite sites or City/Town Clerk Office’s who are accepting early ballot drop offs visit our main "Election’s Homepage" where we will post a link to the dates and locations for these satellite sites and offices, once that information is available.

16. What happens when my early ballot is received by your department?

When an early ballot is received through the mail, the unopened affidavit packet is scanned to acknowledge receipt and also scanned to capture the signature of the voter on the face of this affidavit envelope that the ballot must be returned in. The captured signature is then used by staff to compare it to the signature we have on file from the given voters original registration form or forms.

If the signature matches, the ballot is set in the system, by the staff member, as a "Good Signature" and it is then scheduled to be placed in an audited tray with other "Good Signature" affidavit packets. All "Good Signature" affidavit packets are then sent to the "Citizen Boards" who process these unopened affidavit packets to prepare them for tabulation. The "Citizen Boards" are made up of two board members of opposite political party affiliation. These "Citizen Boards" are there to audit and ensure that the secrecy of the voter’s ballot is maintained.

If the packet is deemed to have a missing or non-matching signature, this does not automatically mean that this early ballot will not get counted. It means instead that it is then sent for further review to a higher level staff member who has been trained biannually in signature verification.

In the case of a missing signature, the unopened packet is sent back to the voter along with a letter explaining why it was returned and a postage paid envelope for the voter to send back the now signed affidavit packet.

In the case of a non-matching signature, the voter is contacted by mail and/or by phone (if a phone number is listed on the voter’s record) to inform the voter that there are some discrepancies with the signature we have on file in comparison to the one appearing on the voter’s affidavit packet. To ensure that it is the actual voter that received and signed the affidavit packet, we ask that the voter contact us back by phone to allow us to verify their identity and validate their signature. This process is done to safeguard the early voting process and protect the voter from possibly having had their ballot fraudulently misdirected and possibly voted and signed by someone other than the actual voter.

You can get more details on the early voting process by viewing the online Adobe PDF presentation (4-2008 Early Voting.pdf) on our "Voter Outreach" page under the "View our community network information" link.

17. Do I need a special pen to mark my ballot?

A special pen is not necessarily needed, although there are pens provided at the polling place that have been tested to be ideal for marking the ballot. However, for voting at home with an early ballot, a standard black ball point pen or a standard lead pencil is as ideal as the pens in the booth. 

There are, conversely, some pens and ink colors that MUST NOT BE USED. The ballot being used is an optical scan ballot. Candidates and issues being voted on have an uncompleted arrow pointing to each. To vote, you must complete the arrow by connecting the head and tail of the arrow that is pointing to the candidate(s) or issue(s) of your choice.

The machine reads down the middle of the arrows and looks for a head and tail to be completed. Because this machine is an optical scan reader, it looks for any marks made in this read area. As such, if you use a "Red ink" pen, the optical scan reader (just as it is so for any of-the-shelf scanner) has a difficult time detecting this color and may miss a mark made if red ink is used.

In addition, "Permanent Ink" markers also present a problem in that most of these types of markers tend to "bleed through" paper, cloth and almost anything that is porous. By "bleed through" we mean that when you mark one side of your ballot using this type of marker, it will appear through the other side of the ballot. Because a ballot can sometimes be two sided (candidates and issues on both sides), a "bleed through" mark can be read by the optical scan reader as an "intentional" mark by the voter on the opposite side of the ballot.

Please avoid the use of "Red ink" and "Permanent Ink" markers when voting your ballot. Again, for early voting ballots, the preferred marking devices are a standard black ball point pen or standard lead pencil.

18. If I accidentally voted for too many candidates does this invalidate my whole ballot?

You are not required to cast a vote for all offices or issues. If you do not vote for a given office or issue, an UNDER-VOTE will be registered for that office or issue. If you accidentally voted for more candidates than allowed for in a particular office (Example: VOTE FOR NOT MORE THAN 1) then it is considered an OVER-VOTE and no candidate or candidates for that particular office will receive a vote.

OVER-VOTING or UNDER-VOTING an office or issue does not affect the rest of your ballot, only that office or issue.

19. If I ruined or spoiled the early ballot I received, how do I get another one?

If you make a mistake in marking your ballot, DO NOT TRY TO CORRECT IT. These ballots are optical scan ballots so an erasure that still lightly shows or white-out can still be seen by the optical scan reader as a mark and count as such. In other words, a correctly marked vote and a "mistake" vote that you attempted to erase or white-out in the same office, could read as an OVER-VOTE and no candidate or candidates for that particular office will receive a vote.

Instead, if time allows for your ballot to be returned and a new one to be resent, you can check the "Spoiled ballot" box located on the return affidavit envelope, near the signature box. Enclose the spoiled ballot into this return affidavit envelope and mail it back to the Election’s Department. Upon receipt of the returned packet, that "Spoiled ballot" box is scanned for and if there is a mark in that box, this ballot is voided and a "new" ballot is systematically and automatically reissued.

To expedite the process of receiving a new ballot, you may also contact our call center at 602-506-1511. A call center agent will verify your information and schedule a new ballot to go out to you right away. If you use this method, you then do not need to return the spoiled ballot and instead you can destroy the ballot in hand, since it will be voided upon issuance of your new ballot.

20. What if I lost my return affidavit envelope, what do I do?

Your ballot will not be counted if it is NOT mailed back in the return affidavit envelope, you must request a whole new early ballot packet by contacting our call center at 602-506-1511.

Reissuing is, of course, dependent on if there is time for us to re-mail you a new ballot so that it is received in time for you to vote and return it before the deadline. All early ballots must be in our possession by 7 p.m. on Election Day. This can be done by dropping it off at any polling place in Maricopa County, at any of our office locations or at any satellite site or City/Town Clerk’s Office that has an issue or candidates appearing on the given ballot.

If time will not allow for your ballot to be received in our office by 7 p.m. on Election Day (postmarks do not count), then the other option is to vote in-person at any of our office locations or at any satellite site. In-person voting begins at our main offices at 26 days prior to the election and ends on the last Friday (4 days prior) before Election Day.

The last and final option (if there is no time to receive a replacement early ballot by mail or to vote in-person at one of our office locations or satellite sites) is for you to vote at your polling place on Election Day. If you vote at your polling place, after having been issued an early ballot, you will then be required to vote a "provisional ballot". Maricopa County Election officials will check to verify that your early ballot was not returned before your provisional ballot is allowed to be counted.

21. How can I check the status of my early ballot to see if it was received?

You can visit the "Early Voting Ballot Status Inquiry" button on our main "Election’s Homepage". Here you will need to provide some detailed information to locate your record and your early ballot status. Please allow adequate time for the ballot to be received, verified and processed before inquiring on the return status. An average period to wait before inquiring, if mailing your ballot back to us from a local address, would be to allow for 2 business days for receipt through the mail and 2 business days to allow for the packet to go through the signature verification process. After this delay period has passed, your early ballot status should be available though this site.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding your early ballot status you may contact our call center at 602-506-1511 to have an agent clarify or check on the status of your early ballot for you.

22. Can I vote at the polls on Election Day if I already requested or received an early ballot?

Yes, as long as the early ballot you received has not been returned. Should you choose to vote at the polls after you've been issued an early ballot, you will be required to vote a "provisional ballot" at the polling place. Maricopa County Election officials will then check to verify that your early ballot was not returned before the provisional ballot is allowed to be counted.

23. What services are available for special-needs citizens who wish to vote?

The Voter Assistance Section of the Elections Department provides services for the hearing and visually impaired, and/or disabled citizens who wish to vote. You can visit our main "Election’s Homepage" and mouse over the "Elections" tab at the top of this page to enable the drop down list of available links. The "Voter Assistant Information" link is one of the many links made accessible to select. This page provides, in both audio and visual formats, a litany of information for voters who may require these special services offered such as the ability to request large print ballots, Braille ballots, audio instructions, and more.

24. Can I get assistance marking my ballot?

Yes, if you are unable to mark the ballot yourself, you can receive assistance from a person of your choice (at the polling place or at home if voting an early ballot). You may ask a trusted relative or friend to help if you need assistance reading or marking your ballot. You may also bring this person with you to the polls to assist you in the voting booth. As a note, each polling place location does have special touch screen and audio voting machines that will allow for voters with disabilities to vote independently.

At the polling place, if you prefer to have the Election’s Department directly assist you, then two polling place board members of different political party affiliations can help.

If you prefer to vote early and would like the Election’s Department to directly assist you, we can schedule to send out a "Special Election Board" (SEB) team to help you with marking your ballot. These "Special Election Board" (SEB) teams are made up of two individuals of different political party affiliations.

To schedule a "Special Election Board" to assist you, please contact our call center at 602-506-1511 and they will collect your information (name, address, phone number, etc.) so that a representative of our SEB Department can contact you back to make arrangements. You may also email this request to voterinfo@risc.maricopa.gov and be certain to indicate in your email the need for a "Special Election Board" team to assist you. In addition, you will need to provide the following information so that we can locate your registration record and contact you back to make arrangements (name, residence address, delivery address, date of birth and phone number).

Recorder FAQs

Public Access to Recorded Documents Site

  • When I print an image from the web browser the complete image does not print?
    • The print command from any browser will not print the entire image. The image can be downloaded to a machine, then opened in imaging software and resized for optimal printing. Alternately, a viewer that supports the PNG file type can be installed as a plugin to your browser. Many viewers resize the image for optimal printing.
  • I receive the message "Image Not Available" The system may be down, and all or some images may currently not be available. I receive the message "Your session has timed out. You must do a New Search to restart the session. If you logged on using a password you must reenter your password to start a new session" when I did not use a password.
    • Delete all the temporary internet files from your browser's cache(memory).
  • When I try to view an Unofficial Document I get a broken image icon at the top of the page.
    • Upgrade your browser to its most recent version.

1.Where do I obtain a form for recording purposes?

Begin your search by calling an office supply or stationary store. However, there are also websites that offer forms online for a fee. Such as: http://www.uslegalforms.com or http://www.deeds.com/forms/arizona/ and http://www.deeds.com/forms/supplemental/arizona/ Note - We are unable to assist with the preparation of your document or provide forms. *The information above is for informational purposes only. If you need legal advice, please consult an attorney or paralegal.

2. What are the fees for recording?

Refer to the Fees schedule or please use our fee calculator on our web site at: http://recorder.maricopa.gov/recdocdata/RecFees.aspx or you may call 602-506-3535.

3. How do I remove a name to my property?

We are unable to assist you with this because it goes beyond the scope of our authority. Your question may be answered by contacting an attorney or paralegal.

4. How do I add a name to my property?

We are unable to assist you with this because it goes beyond the scope of our authority. Your question may be answered by contacting an attorney or paralegal.

5. How do I know what liens are on a property?

You can research your property by owner name via our main search page at http://recorder.maricopa.gov/recdocdata or contact a title company to have a title search performed for you. The title company will charge you a fee to perform a title search. Note: Researching information on the Recorder’s website does not guarantee that your property is free and clear from any liens.

6. Can you tell me the selling price of a property? You can research our records at http://recorder.maricopa.gov/recdocdata by owner name or by recording number. You will then need to determine if an affidavit of value has been recorded. The affidavit of value should contain the sales price information. Another option, you can look up ownership via the Maricopa County Assessor’s office. You will need to know one of the following: Book, Map and Parcel number, property address or owner’s last name and street name. Here is the web link: http://www.maricopa.gov/Assessor/ParcelApplication/Default.aspx

7. How do I do a title search?

All records in our office can be located by searching our name index. A title company may also perform one for you for a fee. However, if you are doing a title search to guarantee that your property is free and clear from any liens, you must obtain title insurance from a title company. Performing a title search on the Maricopa County website is "not" a guarantee that property is free and clear from any liens. You can research your property by owner name via our main search page at: http://recorder.maricopa.gov/recdocdata.

8. Can you tell me who the owner of a property is by parcel number?

No, you will need to contact the Assessor's Office at 602-506-3406 or you can visit their website at http://www.maricopa.gov/Assessor/ParcelApplication/Default.aspx.

9. How do I get the dimensions for my property?

From the subdivision plat, which you can obtain from our website at http://recorder.maricopa.gov/recdocdata and research by your subdivision name. Or if you have the Book of Maps number or MCR number you can go to http://recorder.maricopa.gov/imaps/ and enter the pertinent information. However, some subdivision maps may not contain the information you are seeking. You can view the unofficial map or purchase an official copy from our web site for $1.00 per page. Another option is to check with the city where the property is located. Builders are required to submit their plans to the city to obtain permits.

10. How do I obtain a copy of my deed?

You can purchase an official copy or certified copy at http://recorder.maricopa.gov/recdocdata or you can purchase a copy from our office in person or by mail. Copies are $1.00 per page. If you want a certified copy, it will be an additional $3.00. If mailing your request, please enclose a self addressed stamped envelope or add an additional $1.00 for mailing purposes.

Recorder and Elections – Main Office 111 S. Third Avenue Phoenix, AZ 85003 Hours: 8:00 A.M. – 5:00P.M. Monday-Friday Phone: 602-506-3535 T.D.D. 602-506-2348
Recorder and Elections – Southeast Office (Mesa) 222 E. Javelina Mesa, AZ 85210 Hours: 8:00 A.M. – 5:00P.M. Monday-Friday Phone: 602-506-3535 T.D.D. 602-506-2348

11. How can I find out about a house for sale (foreclosure)?

You can research our records at http://recorder.maricopa.gov/recdocdata by owner name or if you are looking for all property in Maricopa County in foreclosure, simply change the document code field to Notice of Trustee Sale and be date specific or not and click search.

12. How do I remove a decedent's name from my deed?

We are unable to assist you with this because it goes beyond the scope of our authority. Your question may be answered by contacting an attorney or paralegal.

13. What is an Affidavit of Real Property Value?

All property sales transactions require a completed affidavit of value or an exemption number, which means that the property transaction is exempt from completing an affidavit of value. For more information you may call the Arizona Department of Revenue at 602-716-6843. Or visit the following links: http://recorder.maricopa.gov/recdocdata/affidavitofvalue.pdf http://recorder.maricopa.gov/recdocdata/ExemptionCodes2013.pdf http://recorder.maricopa.gov/recdocdata/StatutesandExemptions.pdf

14. How do I change the ownership of a piece of property?

We are unable to assist you with this because it goes beyond the scope of our authority. Your question may be answered by contacting an attorney or paralegal.

15. How do I record my business name?

Your questions may be answered in ARS 44-1236 or ARS 29-101 through 29-366 and/or by consulting an attorney or paralegal.

16. How do I remove an erroneous lien from my property?

Your questions may be answered by reading Arizona Revised Statute 33-420 and/or by consulting an attorney or paralegal. Here is the link to the statutes: http://www.azleg.gov/ArizonaRevisedStatutes.asp.

17. What happens to my document when it is presented for recording?

  1. If the document meets the form requirements, and "is a document required to be recorded" and the proper fees have been paid, we will accept your document and assign it a unique recording number and make it a matter of permanent public record by imaging the document.
    • Your document may have been imaged and handed back to you at the time of recording. This means you have the original, recorded document when you leave the Recorder's office.
    • You may have recorded your document at one of our Interactive Recording KIOSKs. This means you will have the original, recorded document when you leave the KIOSK.
  2. Our Microfilm department films and images your document.
  3. Our data entry department will key the pertinent information to create an index so that you may locate this document in the future. This typically takes 10 to 15 working days.
  4. Your original document will be returned to the address typed on the document. This typically takes 4 to 6 weeks.
  5. If the original document is ever lost or misplaced, a certified copy may be obtained from our office.

18. How do I get a copy of a birth or death certificate?

These records can be found with the Bureau of Health Statistics, Office of Vital Records at: http://www.azdhs.gov/vitalrcd/index.htm or call:

Arizona Department of Health Services: 150 North 18th Avenue Phoenix, Arizona 85007 General and Public Information: (602) 542-1000

19. How do I get a copy of a marriage license/divorce decree?

These records can be found with the Clerk of the Superior Court. You can visit their website at: http://clerkofcourt.maricopa.gov/copies.asp or call them at: 602-506-3730.

20. How do I obtain a passport?

Please contact the Clerk of the Superior Court. You can visit their website at: http://clerkofcourt.maricopa.gov/default.asp or call them at: 602-506-7400

If your question has not been answered, please contact our STAR Call Center at (602) 506-3535.

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