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Phoenix City Clerk Talks About Early Turnout For Special Election

STEVE GOLDSTEIN: Phoenix voters are headed to the polls today, and when all is said and done, a new mayor will be selected. After 18 months of campaigning by candidates Kate Gallego and Daniel Valenzuela, two former City Council members, one will emerge as the city's new mayor. And overseeing that election is city clerk, Denise Archibald, who joins us for a few minutes. Denise, Good morning.

DENISE ARCHIBALD: Good morning, how are you?

GOLDSTEIN: Doing well. So can you give us an idea of certainly when it comes to election state-wide, we talk a lot about early ballots. How does that work in the city of Phoenix? Can you tell us how many ballots have been returned so far?

ARCHIBALD: Yes, we do send out early ballots to people that are registered to vote and are on our permanent early voting list. And so far we've received approximately 157,000 early ballots and we have about 755,000 registered voters.

GOLDSTEIN: And as far as turnout goes, how was turnout in November, and how do you expect — obviously turnout was affected quite a bit by the fact there were many other races in November. How would you compare turnout today? Do you have expectations for that?

ARCHIBALD: So the November election was conducted by the county, and so it is definitely a different animal, but in the city of Phoenix, we currently have this election for mayor and also for council members in districts five and eight, and we're looking at right now about a 20 percent voter turnout rate, which is consistent with our city elections.

GOLDSTEIN: Any reports so far, as far as whether things are running smoothly today? How many polling places, how many voting centers are there?

ARCHIBALD: We have a very convenient system of voting centers for our voters where they can go to any of the 28 designated voting centers that we have in Phoenix. And so they are currently open and we're in full swing, and they are open until 7:00 p.m. today. And so we hope everyone goes out to vote. And as I mentioned, they can go to any one of the 28 voting centers. They can find a map online at phoenix.gov/elections. And so it's very easy to use.

GOLDSTEIN: And as you know it's not just media, it's people who live in Phoenix as well. How soon could results come in?

ARCHIBALD: So we will have our first unofficial results today starting at 8:00 p.m. They'll be posted online at phoenix.gov/results. And so that's when we'll see our first results, and then once we finish counting the ballots, we'll have our official results later on.

GOLDSTEIN: And Denise, finally, you mentioned the city council races as well. There are more than two candidates in those races so that could be a situation where, is another runoff possible, and if so when would that take place?

ARCHIBALD: Yes, if there is not a majority winner for those particular races in districts five and eight they would go to a runoff in May of this year.

GOLDSTEIN: Denise Archibald is a city clerk for the city of Phoenix. Denise, thank you.

ARCHIBALD: Thank you.

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Steve Goldstein was a host at KJZZ from 1997 to 2022.