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Sun, May 26

Voters must register by Monday for presidential preference election

Monday is the last day people can register to vote in Arizona's presidential preference election.

The election day is Feb. 28, but early voting starts on Feb. 2. The last day to request an early ballot is Feb. 17.

People can register to vote through midnight Monday. They can go to the Yavapai County Recorder's Office or go online to the Arizona Secretary of State office at azsos.gov, the "Service Arizona" site at servicearizona.com, or the county recorder's site at co.yavapai.az.us/electionsvr.aspx. The latter site also contains information about voting sites and early voting.

Unlike Arizona's open primary system, presidential preference election voters must be registered in the party to vote for a party candidate. So those interested in voting in the Republican presidential race must be registered Republicans, for example.

The Republican and Green parties are the only groups participating in the presidential preference election this year, Secretary of State Ken Bennett noted. So registered members of those parties will be the only people who can vote in this election.

Twenty-nine candidates made the ballot, including 23 Republicans and six Greens.

Alongside the well-known Republican candidates on the ballot - Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, Rick Santorum and Rick Perry - will be 11 candidates from the metropolitan Phoenix area and Tucson. Half of the six Green candidates hail from metro Arizona.

January's statewide voter registration numbers are down from the last report in October, mainly because county elections departments purged inactive voters, Bennett said.

Arizona now has 3,138,327 registered voters, down by 27,231 from October. That includes 1,118,938 Republicans (down 5,235), 957,786 Democrats (down 17,106), and 1,033,584 independents and others (down 3,866). Those others include 22,912 Libertarians, 4,996 Green Party members and 111 Americans Elect Party members.

Yavapai County has 122,875 registered voters. A much higher percentage of them are Republicans compared to statewide figures.

While 36 percent of Arizona voters are Republican, that number is 44 percent in Yavapai County. Democrats make up 31 percent of Arizona voters but only 22 percent of Yavapai County voters.

Independents make up 33 percent of Arizona as well as Yavapai County voters.

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