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Early Voting Sites To Open In Maricopa County On Oct. 12

Voters who want to cast a ballot in person before Election Day in Maricopa County have that opportunity from Oct. 12 to Nov. 4.

There are 25 early voting locations in the county that voters have to choose from, though hours at the sites vary.

Elizabeth Bartholomew of the Maricopa County Recorder's Office said most voters who want to vote early are on the permanent early voting list and will get their ballot in the mail. But she said other voters like to go in person.

"There are still a lot of voters who might not want to go to the polls on Election Day or don't have time or might be out of town whatever the case may be," Bartholomew said. 

Bartholomew said even though the county projects fewer people will vote early in person this year compared to 2012.

"We have actually increased the number of early voting sites to make that more convenient for the voters," said Bartholomew.

Most locations are in the city clerk's offices in cities around the county.

While most sites are open weekdays 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., a handful are open Monday to Thursday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Spencer Scharff of the Arizona Democratic Party said that second schedule is better for people trying to vote before or after work. He said more convenient hours would encourage more people to vote early and that would likely decrease lines at polling locations on Nov. 8.

"We just think that it would benefit the entire community if more early voting centers had extended weekday hours, and that in-person voting would be even more accessible than it is currently," Scharff said.

The Arizona Democratic Party has asked the county to consider extending weekday hours at more early voting sites. An analysis by the party found the current sites offering longer weekday hours tend to be zip codes with low Democratic and minority populations, though party representatives say they do not believe it was intentional.

Bartholomew said hours for the sites are set by the city clerks and relate to when city offices are open. 

Some early voting locations in Phoenix and Mesa are also open on Saturday, Oct. 22 and Saturday, Oct. 29.

While voters can choose from any of the 25 locations to vote early, voters who choose to vote on Election Day will have to go to their assigned polling place to vote.

Jude Joffe-Block Senior Field Correspondent, Fronteras Desk - Phoenix KJZZ Senior Field Correspondent Jude Joffe-Block got hooked on radio while working as an assitant to a radio reporter in Mexico, and has been happiest wearing headphones and pointing microphones ever since. Joffe-Block began serving KJZZ in October 2010 as a Fronteras: Changing America Senior Field Correspondent based out of Las Vegas, Nevada. She joined the Phoenix newsroom in July 2012. Before joining the Fronteras Desk, she contributed stories on immigration and criminal justice to KALW in San Francisco and multimedia content in both Spanish and English to The Associated Press in Mexico. She is a graduate of U.C. Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism and Yale University, and was a Fulbright Scholar in Mexico.