Student Voting Guide | Arizona

August 15, 2014

This student voting guide explains the laws for the state of Arizona. If you wish to vote from your school address, check the student voting guide for the state where you attend school. If you want to cast an absentee ballot in your home state, check the student voting guide for that state.

The Brennan Center is committed to giving students as much information as possible to help you exercise your constitutional right to vote. More than ever in recent history, changes to voting laws are being implemented in ways that can affect your ability to make your vote count. In addition to the content you will find in this Student Voting Guide, we continue to track passed and pending voting law changes here. While we are working to give you up-to-date information, we urge you to be proactive! In order to ensure you have all the information you need before casting your vote, you should also check with your state and local election officials for information about additional requirements or regulations.

This voting guide was last updated August 15, 2014.


In Arizona you can register to vote if you will be 18 by the next general election and have been a resident of Arizona for at least 29 days before the election.[1]  If you have been convicted of a felony, it may impact your ability to vote.  If you think you might be affected, you should contact your local election officials.[2]

You can register to vote in person at the county clerk’s office, at the department of motor vehicles, by mail, or online.[3] The voter registration deadline is 29 days before Election Day.[4] If you register by mail your registration is valid as long as it is postmarked by the deadline and received by your county recorder by 7 p.m. on Election Day.[5]

Registration forms are available to download and print here; online registration is available here. In order to register online, you must have a valid Arizona driver’s license or non-driver identification issued after October 1, 1996.

Proof of Citizenship

As of August 2014, Arizona has adopted a dual voter registration system.[6] Under this system, if you register to vote using the state’s voter registration form, you will have to provide documentary proof of citizenship and will be permitted to vote in elections for both state and federal office. If you register to vote using the National Voter Registration Form, you will be permitted to vote only for federal offices. Acceptable citizenship documentation includes a birth certificate, United States passport, Arizona-issued driver’s license or non-driver ID (or driver’s license/ID number), naturalization documents, and Bureau of Indian Affairs cards, among other forms. [7]


In Arizona, you must be a resident of the state for the 29 days preceding Election Day in order to vote.[8] Your voting residency is determined by your actual physical presence combined with your intent to remain there.[9] A temporary absence from the address where you have declared your voting residency will not cancel your voting residency if you have the intent to return.[10] Your intention to remain in Arizona is judged not only by your statements but also by your actions and the surrounding circumstances.[11] Filling out a change of address form with the post office, having a long-term lease, or obtaining an Arizona phone number, are all actions that support your intent to reside in the state.[12]

At School. Students can establish residency in Arizona if they have a present intention to remain at their Arizona school address for the time being, and they intend to make it their principal home. Any other interpretation of the residency laws is unconstitutional.[13] Voting in Arizona may be a declaration of residency, potentially making you subject to other laws that govern state residents. 

At Home.  You should not have any trouble keeping your Arizona voting residency if you attend school elsewhere. You will not lose your voting residency in Arizona if you are absent from the address where you are registered to vote if you are attending an institution of learning.[14] While registering to vote in another state is not automatically considered abandonment of residency in Arizona, some judges or officials might view it as such. If you have established residency in another state and are moving back to Arizona with the intent to reside here, you will have to follow the normal registration procedures to re-register to vote in Arizona.

Challenges to Residency. Your eligibility to vote may be challenged at the polls by any registered voter of that county[15] or by a designated challenger appointed by the County Chairman of a political party.[16] If your eligibility is challenged at the polls, you must sign an “affidavit of registration” swearing that you are a resident and a legally registered voter to be able to vote by regular ballot.[17] You may also have to swear to answer any questions regarding your residence truthfully, and then answer those questions before the election board. Your eligibility to vote may only be rebutted by clear and convincing evidence.[18] For example, any returned mail from the address at which you registered to vote is sufficient evidence for your eligibility to be challenged.[19] Students have the right to cast a ballot as a resident of Arizona regardless of whether you pay in-state or out-of-state tuition. Any challenge made solely on the basis of your student or tuition status is invalid.

If the majority of the election board is satisfied that the challenge is not valid, you will be allowed to vote by regular ballot.[20] If the board finds the challenge legitimate, or you refuse to sign the affidavit, you are still entitled to vote by provisional ballot.[21] Your provisional ballot will be counted if the county recorder determines you were eligible to vote within ten days of the election, and you will be informed if your provisional ballot was counted.[22]


All Arizona voters will be asked to show proof of identity when casting a ballot.[23] Proof of identity can be shown either by one form of ID with your name, registration address, and photo (list 1 below), or two different forms of ID that both have your name and address (list 2 below).[24]  If you are using a military ID or a US passport you must also show one form of ID that has both your name and voting address on it.[25] The ID must be valid, meaning that you cannot tell it is expired by looking at it.[26]

List 1 - Acceptable Forms of Identification with Photograph, Name, and Address of the Elector (Only One Form Required)

  • Valid Arizona driver license;
  • Valid Arizona nonoperating identification license;
  • Tribal enrollment card or other form of tribal identification; or
  • Valid United States federal, state, or local government issued identification.[27]

List 2 - Acceptable Forms of Identification Without a Photograph that Bear the Name and Address of the Elector (Two Different Forms Required; May Be Presented in Paper and/or Electronic Format)

  • Utility bill of the elector that is dated within 90 days of the date of the election. A utility bill may be for electric, gas, water, solid waste, sewer, telephone, cellular phone, or cable television;
  • Bank or credit union statement that is dated within 90 days of the date of the election;
  • Valid Arizona Vehicle Registration;
  • Indian census card;
  • Property tax statement of the elector's residence;
  • Tribal enrollment card or other form of tribal identification;
  • Arizona vehicle insurance card;
  • Recorder's Certificate;
  • Valid United States federal, state, or local government issued identification, including a voter registration card issued by the County Recorder; or
  • Any mailing to the elector marked “Official Election Material.[28]

If you are unable to show proper ID at the polls you can vote by conditional provisional ballot.[29] However, you must show ID at the County Recorder’s office within five business days after a general federal election or three days after any other election, or else your ballot will not be counted.[30] Your poll worker must provide you with instructions about how to do this.

Absentee Voting

If you are registered to vote in Arizona you can request to vote by absentee (or “early”) ballot.[31]  You can request an absentee ballot for any reason and do not need to be absent from your voting address to do so.[32] A request can be made as early as 93 days before an election,[33] and must be received by the County Recorder by 5 p.m. on the eleventh day before the election.[34] A request can be made to your county recorder in person, by phone, by fax, by email, or online, in some counties.[35] You can check with your county recorder on the availability of online early voting requests.

If you wish to vote by mail in every election, you can request to be put on the “permanent early voting list.”[36] You may do so online here. All ballots on the permanent early voting list must be sent to an Arizona address unless you are a uniformed or overseas voter.[37]

Your completed absentee ballot must be received by the County Recorder or delivered to any polling place in the county by 7 p.m. on Election Day.[38]

Early Voting

All early voting in Arizona is conducted by absentee ballot.  If you wish to vote early you can follow the absentee voting procedures discussed above.

Last Updated August 15, 2014

[1] Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 16-101(A)(2).

[2] Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 16-101(A)(5).

[3] Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§ 16-131, 16-103; 16-112. See

[4] Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 16-134(C)(1).

[5] Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 16-134(C).

[6] Ariz. Sec’y of State, Elections Services Division, Elections Procedure Manual 10-16 (2014 Edition) available at See Ariz. Op. Att'y Gen. No. I13-011 (Oct. 7, 2013).

[7] Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 16-166(F); see also (last accessed August 14, 2014).

[8] Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 16-101(A)(3).

[9] Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 16-101(B).

[10] Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 16-101(B).

[11] McDowell Mt. Ranch Land Coalition v. Vizcaino, 945 P.2d 312, 314 (Ariz. 1997).

[12] Vizcaino, at 945 P.2d at 315.

[13] See Dunn v. Blumstein, 405 U.S. 330, 330 (1972); Williams v. Salerno, 792 F.2d 323, 328 (2d Cir. 1986).

[14] Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 16-593(A)(2). 

[15] Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 16-591.

[16] Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 16-590(A).

[17] Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 16-592(A).

[18] Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 16-121.01(B).

[19] Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 16-592(A).

[20] Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 16-592(B).

[21] Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 16-592(C).

[22] Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 16-584(E).

[23] Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 16-579(A)(1).

[24] Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 16-579(A)(1)(a)-(b).

[25] Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 16-579(A)(1)(c).

[26] Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 16-579(A)(1)(a), (b).

[27] Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 16-579(A)(1); see also Ariz. Sec’y of State, Elections Services Division, Elections Procedure Manual 144-45 (2014 Edition) available at

[28] Id.

[29] Ariz. Sec’y of State, Elections Services Division, Elections Procedure Manual 153 (2014 Edition) available at

[30] Id.

[31] Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 16-541(A).

[32] Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 16-541(A).

[33] Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 16-542(A).

[34] Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 16-542(E).

[35] Ariz. Sec’y of State, Elections Services Division, Elections Procedure Manual  51 (2014 Edition) available at

[36] Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 16-544(A).

[37] Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 16-544(B).

[38] Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 16-548(A).