Election Candidate Signs

Ballot signs are at scores of intersections around the West Valley, in anticipation of the Nov. 3 election. The county begins mailing ballots Oct. 7.

The campaign signs at intersections around the West Valley point to Nov. 3.

According to the Maricopa County Department of Elections, early ballots are being mailed starting Wednesday, Oct. 7. In-person voting begins Oct. 7, through Election Day, Nov. 3.

Registered voters can vote by mail or in person. To check early ballot voting status and more, visit recorder.maricopa.gov/elections.

The Nov. 3 election is the final election held between nominees of various parties, as well as nonpartisan races including school board elections, bonds, ballot propositions and initiatives.

Voters have the option to request a ballot in the mail or vote in person at any location open Oct. 7 to Nov. 3.

“Because of the need for physical distancing and heightened safety protocols, voting locations may have moved, but we are expanding access through a Vote Center model. Voters may now choose from any voting location, rather than just one assigned location,” said Scott Jarrett, director of Election Day and emergency voting with the Maricopa County Elections Department. 

“These large locations will also be able to check in more voters at a time and are located across the county, including on tribal land and in rural areas to ensure in-person voting continues to be an option for all communities.”

To date, nearly 78% of Maricopa County’s nearly 2.5 million registered voters requested a ballot in the mail.

Voters have the option to return early ballots by mail by Oct. 27 or drop it off at any Vote Center or secure ballot drop box by 7 p.m. on Election Day.

The elections department is also adding new drive-thru drop boxes in the parking lots of sport stadiums across the county. Voters will be able to return completed ballots in their signed and sealed green affidavit envelope from their vehicles. Trained staff will work at all drive-thru drop boxes and will deliver the sealed envelopes to the elections department nightly, tracking the chain of custody and keeping ballots secure. Drive-thru drop box locations are open Oct. 24 and Oct. 31 to Nov. 3.

Find sites and hours of operation at locations.maricopa.vote.

“Maricopa County has been providing every voter with the option to request a ballot in the mail since 1996. We have layers of oversight to ensure only valid ballots are counted,” said Rey Valenzuela, director of early voting and election services with the Maricopa County Elections Department. “We plan to make sure that no matter what option voters choose, it’s safe, accessible and secure.”

School funding

West Valley residents will vote on federal and state representatives—as well as hyper-local issues involving school funding and school boards.

Several school districts are asking West Valley residents for funding.

The Avondale Elementary School District requests a continuation of the existing 15% override. If approved, the $5.1 million override would cost the owner of a home with a limited property value of $123,470 (the average value of a home in the district) approximately $139 per year, according to ballot information.

Buckeye Union High School District residents will decide on an $87 million bond for classroom additions, classroom remodels/expansions, student technology, transportation vehicles and athletic facilities renovation.

According to Buckeye Union ballot information, “The tax impact over the term of the bonds on an owner-occupied residence valued by the county assessor at $250,000 is estimated to be $148.98 per year for 26 years, or $3,873.48 total cost.”

Liberty Elementary School District residents will decide on a continuation of the existing 10% override of about $2.4 million. According to ballot information, “The estimated continuation cost of the full override to an owner of a home with a limited property value of $168,170 (the average value of a home in the district) would be approximately $136 per year.”

Saddle Mountain Unified School District residents will vote on a continuation of the existing 10% override. The estimated continuation cost of the full override to an owner of a home with a limited property value of $116,650 (the average value of a home in the district) would be approximately $20 per year.

In the Tolleson Elementary School District, voters will decide on a continuation of the existing 15% override. The estimated continuation cost of the full override to an owner of a home with a limited property value of $85,510 (the average value of a home in the district) would be approximately $101 per year.

Tolleson Union High School District residents will decide on a continuation of the existing 15% override. The estimated continuation cost of the full override to an owner of a home with a limited property value of $106,100 (the average value of a home in the district) would be approximately $95 per year.

West Valley voters also will decide on school board representatives.

Buckeye Elementary School District voters will choose from Amy Lovitt, Michael Melton, Brett Benninghoff and Richard Hopkins for three open seats.

Six filed as Buckeye Union High School District board candidates for three open seats: Morris Seeskin, Megan Blackburn, Jeffrey Brady,  Kristi Bencomo, Paul Jensen and Brian Turner.

Five candidates filed as Litchfield Elementary School District governing board candidates for three open seats: Ryan Risselman, Tawnya Pfitzer, Jeremy Hoenack, Danielle Clymer and Melissa Zuidema.

Four candidates filed as Littleton Elementary School District governing board candidates for three open seats: Sara Contreras, Kathy Reyes, John Raeder and Sophia Johnson.

Other West Valley districts canceled elections, due to a lack of competition.

Agua Fria Union High School District residents will not vote, as only Kristen Acton, Gina DeCoste and Trey Terry filed for three open board seats. They will be appointed.

Similarly, Avondale Elementary School District will not have an election, as Amy Lowe, Mark Gonzales, Megan Griego, Elizabeth Canchola and Robert Vernier were the only candidates to file for the five open board positions.

Liberty Elementary School District will not have an election for the governing board, with only three candidates for the three open seats: Suzanne McEvoy, Jamie Miller and Paul Bixler (William Jennings withdrew his candidacy).

And only three filed as Saddle Mountain Unified School District governing board candidates for the same number of open seats: Bernadette Delacruz, Bonnie Hudson and Paul Roetto.

Tolleson Elementary and Tolleson Union High school districts will not have elections.

Due to a lack of competition, Anthony Aponte, Belinda Quezada and Roberta Garcia will be appointed to the Tolleson Elementary School District governing board and Steven Chapman, Kino Flores and Freddie Villalon will be appointed to the Tolleson Union High School District governing board.

All voting locations will follow strict physical distancing and cleaning guidelines, according to the county.

Oct. 23 is the last day to request a ballot in the mail.

For more information, visit recorder.maricopa.gov/elections.

To check on your voting status, visit recorder.maricopa.gov/BeBallotReady.