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Get Involved On National Voter Registration Day

Of its total population of about 7 million, 3.6 million Arizonans are registered to vote. (Arizona PIRG)
Of its total population of about 7 million, 3.6 million Arizonans are registered to vote. (Arizona PIRG)
September 25, 2017

PHOENIX -- Tuesday is National Voter Registration Day, and advocates say there are still millions of Arizonans who are eligible to vote but aren't currently registered. And of the 3.6 million Arizona residents who are registered, only three-quarters voted in the last presidential election.

Arizona Secretary of State Michele Reagan said the turnout for off-year elections is extremely low, which means many highly consequential elections are being decided by a small minority of voters.

"Stuff that really affects your life, and that you really feel, happens either on the local level or on the state level,” Reagan said. "And in some of those elections, especially our primary elections which happen in August of next year, the people that actually come out and participate can be as low as 23 percent."

People can pick up a voter registration card at the post office, the Motor Vehicle Division, and the county recorder's offices across the state, or go online to Arizona.vote. The next election takes place in November, with many municipal issues on the ballot.

Diane Brown, executive director at Arizona PIRG Education Fund, noted that people like Sen. Jeff Flake, Gov. Doug Ducey and every member of Congress will face the voters in next year's primary and general elections.

"In 2018, Arizona will have local, state and federal election decisions,” Brown said; “everything from local candidates to members of Congress to the governor's race - and potentially issues - could be on the ballot."

Reagan said her office is on high alert after Russian hackers got the username and password to the state's voter registration database last year. But she said they were unable to tamper with it.

"It was discovered by authorities, and we were able to take the system down before they actually got into that database,” she said. "Very close call. Our IT people tell us that they get thousands of hits a day that they block."

The actual voting machines are not connected to the Internet, so the integrity of the vote remains intact.

Suzanne Potter, Public News Service - AZ