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KJZZ Explains: Presidential Preference Election — Who Can Vote And When

Welcome to “Super Tuesdays” from KJZZ Explains. We break down political buzzwords and how they relate to Arizona. 

Today, we’re getting you ready for the Presidential Preference Election. 

On March 17, voters registered with the Democratic Party will pick their preferred candidate for the presidency. The winning candidate will be considered among other states’ picks at the Democratic National Convention in July to determine who will appear on the November ballot.

Voters who were not already registered with the Arizona Democratic Party had until Feb. 18 to change their party affiliation — say from no party or independent — to Democrat if they wanted to participate. So, it’s too late to get in on the action now if you haven’t already.

And Republicans who were hoping for a primary are out of luck, too. 

The state Republican Party opted out of a presidential preference election this year. Democrats did the same in 2012, when they rallied behind President Barack Obama. 

If you are a registered Democrat:

  • You can request a ballot by mail until March 6.
  • You have until March 11 to mail your ballot in early.
  • You can also vote early in-person until March 13.
  • And March 17 is the big day. Polls will be open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. 

→  Watch More KJZZ Explains Videos

Katie Campbell is a senior producer for The Show.She is a native Floridian and graduated from the University of Florida’s College of Journalism before trading the humidity for a dry heat.Katie worked for WUFT News, the NPR and PBS affiliate housed at the college, where she reported on breaking news and elections. That experience led her to Arizona in 2015 to report for the News21 investigation “America’s Weed Rush.” She traveled from the New England region to Hawaii to reveal what worked — and what didn’t — in states’ medical marijuana programs, and hosted News21’s first podcast, “Cultivating Conversation.”She later covered courts and politics in Pinal County, exposing the misuse of asset forfeiture funds by elected officials, then kept watch over the state House of Representatives for the Arizona Capitol Times, covering everything from a statewide teacher walkout to the departure of two state representatives amid scandal.