Presidential Preference Primary Election scheduled

Arizona's Presidential Preference Primary Election (PPE) is set for Feb. 5. Arizona will join 21 other states holding their PPEs or caucuses on this date. Other states that will hold primary elections on Feb. 5 include Alabama, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Utah. Alaska, Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Minnesota, New Mexico and North Dakota will hold caucuses on the same day.

Unfortunately, the election itself is confusing to the average voter. Some people call it a "preference" election and others refer to it as a "primary" election. Regardless of what you call it, it is important for voters, specifically registered Democrats and Republicans, to understand the importance of this election.

To assist voters, the Coconino County Elections Department developed the following list of frequently asked questions regarding the upcoming election.

Who can vote? Registered Democrats and Republicans only. There are 25,147 Democrats and 17,612 Republicans currently registered to vote in Coconino County.

Who conducts the election? Coconino County-not the Democratic or Republican parties.

Will Libertarians also have a Presidential Primary? Not in Arizona; the Arizona Libertarian Party has chosen not to participate in the PPE.

What about parties other than the Democratic and Republican Parties? If you are registered as an Independent, Nonpartisan, or with any party not recognized by the State of Arizona, you are not eligible to vote in the February 5 PPE. This is different than the State Primary Election which will be held on Sept. 2, 2008. In the State Primary Election on Sept. 2, Independents, Nonpartisan or voters affiliated with a party not recognized by the State of Arizona will be eligible to vote.

How can I change my party affiliation? You must re-register to vote by the voter registration deadline, which is Jan. 7, at midnight.

How can I re-register to vote? Registration forms are available at banks, libraries and post offices. They are also available at the County Elections Office at 110 E. Cherry in Flagstaff, and the Tuba City Elections Office located in the basement of the Tuba City Library. You may also register or re-register to vote online at www.servicearizona.com.

What's at stake in this election? For both the Democratic and Republican Parties, the results of the PPE determine the number of delegates that the parties' presidential candidates will receive at the two national nomination conventions. For the Republican Party, there are 51 delegates from Arizona at stake, and for the Democratic Party, there are 67 delegates that will be apportioned according to the results of the PPE vote in Arizona.

Can I vote early? Early voting begins Jan. 10. There are several early voting locations which are posted on the Elections website at www.coconino.az.gov.elections. To request that an early ballot be mailed to you, call the Elections Office at (928) 779-6589; toll-free (800) 793-6181. You may also send in a written request to Coconino County Elections, 110 E. Cherry, Flagstaff, AZ, 86001; or submit an early voting request online at

www.coconino.az.gov/elections; select Early Ballot Request from the list of options. For more information, call Elections administrator Patty Hansen, or Coconino County recorder Candace Owens, at (928) 779-6589 or toll-free (800) 793-6181.

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