Early voting starts in Arizona presidential primary

People wait in line to vote early at the Culinary Workers union Monday, Feb. 17, 2020, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)

Early voting has started in Arizona’s Democratic presidential primary election with the mailing of more than 900,000 ballots to those who signed up to vote by mail.

The four-week election period that began Wednesday ends on March 17. The primary is run by county elections officials.

The Republican Party is forgoing a presidential primary and Donald Trump will automatically appear on the November ballot. The Libertarian Party also decided not to participate in what is formally known as a presidential preference election.

Voters can return their ballots by mail or drop them off at an official election site. About 328,000 Democrats who don’t get early ballots can request one from county officials until March 6 or vote at an early voting site or their Election Day polling place.

Arizona will have 18 Democrats on the ballot, although seven have formally ended their campaigns and more are likely to do so before March 17.

The 2016 presidential preference election in Maricopa County was marred by hours-long lines on Election Day as both parties had multiple candidates on the ballot. County and state officials blamed the issues on a cut in the number of polling sites from more than 200 to just 60.

County supervisors are vowing to avoid those issues this year, with 229 polling sites that include 40 that are open to all Democratic voters.

Republished with the Permission of the Associated Press.