Triadvocates Navigator: Election Update

October 11,2022 | TRIADVOCATES


Vote now or forever hold your peace

Heads-up, voters. If you want to cast a ballot in the Arizona general election (trust us, you do) but have yet to register to vote, you have until 11:59 p.m. tonight to make it happen.

Not sure if you’re registered? You can check your voter status HERE. The site also allows you to register online, request a ballot by mail, and check the real-time status of your mail-in or provisional ballot. To use the ServiceArizona portal, all you need is your Arizona driver’s license (or state ID).

A few other key dates to remember:

  • Tuesday, Oct. 11 – Last day to register to vote. Registration forms must be received (online or in person) by 11:59 p.m. tonight.
  • Wednesday, Oct. 12 – Early ballots drop—they’ll start arriving in mailboxes this week.
  • Friday, Oct. 28 – Last day to request a ballot by mail (5 p.m. deadline).
  • Tuesday, Nov. 1 – If you’re voting by mail, the Secretary of State recommends mailing in your early ballots by Nov. 1. (If you miss that date, or prefer to drop your ballot in person, you can do so at certain early voting locations up until Nov. 7 and at any polling location on Election Day.)
  • Tuesday, Nov. 8 – Election Day (All ballots must be received by 7 p.m.)

If you're planning to vote by mail, just a reminder to sign and date your ballot.
Earlier today, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that if a state requires mail-in ballots to be signed and dated, and the mail-in ballot is returned without a date, the ballot will not be counted. By way of background, this case came out of Pennsylvania, which has a state law that requires mail-in ballots be signed and dated. In a particularly close race for an elected judicial position in 2021, the question became whether to count 257 ballots that were signed but not dated. The 3rd Circuit ruled that the date was not material and that not counting those ballots would violate the Voting Rights Act. The U..S. Supreme Court disagreed.





Key races to watch

By now, we’ve all seen plenty of ads for the high-profile races at the top of the ticket. But the candidates a little lower on the ballot could potentially have a more direct impact on your everyday life so don't overlook those races, particularly if you happen to be in one of the more competitive districts.

As things stand, voters in five districts could determine the makeup of the Arizona State Legislature – and the dynamics in each caucus – in the upcoming session.

While a stretch, it is technically possible for Democrats to pick up enough seats to tie in the House, and potentially even control the Senate. If all six Democrats running for House in those five districts win, they would tie the House at 30-30. To tie the Senate, they would need to win three of the five seats—taking more would mean they control the chamber. Democrats haven’t tied in either chamber since 2000 and haven’t maintained control since the 60s.

Alternatively, we could see these seats going to the much more conservative MAGA faction of the Republican party. Either way, the 840,000+ voters in those districts will have a significant impact on what the legislative environment will look like over the next couple years.

Here are the key races we’re watching:


Legislative District 2 (North Phoenix)

  • Senate: Incumbent Republican Rep. Steve Kaiser is running against Democrat Jeanne Casteen, a former teacher who is currently executive director of the Secular Coalition for Arizona.
  • House: Incumbent Democratic Rep. Judy Schwiebert is running against incumbent Republican Rep. Justin Wilmeth and IT professional Christian Lamar, also a Republican.

Legislative District 4 (Scottsdale, Paradise Valley, North Scottsdale)

  • Senate: Incumbent Sen. Nancy Barto, a staunchly pro-life Republican, is running against teacher and incumbent Democratic Sen. Christine Marsh.
  • House: Democrat Laura Terech, a teacher and community organizer, is running against Republicans Matt Gress, who is currently serving as Gov. Doug Ducey's budget analyst, and former lawmaker Maria Syms.

Legislative District 9 (West Mesa)

  • Senate: Robert Scantlebury, a retired Mesa police officer running as a Trump-endorsed Republican, is competing against Democrat Eva Burch, an emergency room nurse.
  • House: Seth Blattman, who runs a furniture business, and Lorena Austin, a Trader Joe's frontline employee, are the Democrats on the ticket. They're running against Republicans Mary Ann Mendoza, a realtor, and Kathy Pearce, founder of a veteran support group.

Legislative District 13 (Chandler and part of Gilbert)

  • Senate: Incumbent Republican Sen. J.D. Mesnard is running against Democratic political newcomer Cindy Hans, who is a former teacher and principal.
  • House: Democratic incumbent Rep. Jennifer Pawlik is running against two Republicans—real estate agent and prominent Trump supporter Liz Harris and Julie Willoughby, an emergency room nurse.

Legislative District 16 (Gila and Ak-Chin Indian Communities, Casa Grande, Coolidge)

  • Senate: Incumbent Republican Sen. T.J. Shope is running against teacher Taylor Kerby.
  • House: Keith Seaman, a Democrat and retired educator, is running for one of the two House seats against two Republicans, incumbent Rep. Teresa Martinez and pastor Rob Hudelson.


Another one to watch is Legislative District 22 in the West Valley, which is now a nine–person race of write-in candidates. While typically considered a safe district for Democrats, an unexpected resignation has left the seat somewhat vulnerable. After the primary, the winning candidate withdrew from the election, therefore a write-in candidacy for the Senate seat is the only option. The GOP has targeted LD 22 as a pick-up opportunity and is heavily campaigning for candidate Steve Robinson, who is one of four Republicans running write-in campaigns. There are also five Democrats and an Independent running. Eva Diaz appears to be the Democratic frontrunner.





What else is on the ballot?

In addition to races for Governor and U.S. Senate all the way down to local school board members, Arizona voters will decide on which 10 propositions, if any, will be codified into state law.

Here’s a rundown on each one:


position 308: Classification of students for tuition purposes

  • A vote YES: Would allow any Arizona student, regardless of immigration status, to be eligible for in-state tuition at state universities and community colleges if they graduated from, and spent at least two years attending, an Arizona public or private high school, or homeschool equivalent; allowing any Arizona student, regardless of immigration status, to be eligible for state financial aid at state universities and community colleges.
  • A vote NO: Would retain the current law on university and community college tuition.

Proposition 309: Voter identification

  • A vote YES: Would require the affidavit accompanying an early ballot and return envelope to be capable of being concealed when returned; requiring a voter to write their birth date, a state-issued identification number or the last four digits of the voter’s social security number, and signature on an early ballot affidavit; requiring certain photo identification issued by the State of Arizona, or a tribal government or the United States government, to receive a ballot at an in-person voting location; removing the ability to receive a ballot at an in-person voting location without photo identification when showing two other identifying documents; and requiring the Arizona Department of Transportation to provide, without charge, a nonoperating identification license to individuals who request one for the purpose of voting.
  • A vote NO: Would retain existing law on early ballot affidavits and voter identification.

Proposition 310: Taxation benefitting fire districts

  • A vote YES: Would establish a Fire District Safety Fund; increasing the Transaction Privilege (Sales) and Use Tax by one-tenth of one percent from January 1, 2023 through December 31, 2042 to pay for the Fund; and distributing monies from the Fund to fire districts on a monthly basis.
  • A vote NO: Would retain existing law on tax rates and funding for fire districts.

Proposition 209: Predatory debt collection protection

  • A vote YES: Would reduce maximum interest rates on medical debt from ten percent to no more than three percent per year; increasing exemptions from all debt collection for certain personal assets, including a debtor’s home, household items, motor vehicle, and bank account from debt collection; adjusting exemptions from all debt collection for inflation beginning in 2024; decreasing the amount of disposable earnings subject to garnishment to no more than ten percent of disposable earnings but allowing a court to decrease the disposable earnings subject to garnishment to five percent based on extreme economic hardship.
  • A vote NO: would retain existing laws related to debt collection.

Proposition 211: Money used for political campaign media spending

  • A vote YES: Would require additional disclosures and reporting by entities and persons whose campaign media spending and/or in-kind contributions for campaign media spending exceeds $50,000 in statewide campaigns or $25,000 in other campaigns, including identifying original donors of contributions of more than $5,000 in aggregate; creating penalties for violations of the law; and allowing the Citizens Clean Elections Commission to adopt rules and enforce the provisions of the law.
  • A vote NO: Would retain existing law on campaign finance reporting requirements.

Proposition 128: Legislature initiative and referendum

  • A vote YES: Would amend the constitution to allow the state legislature to amend, divert funds from, or supersede an initiative or referendum measure enacted by the people of Arizona if the measure is found to contain illegal or unconstitutional language by the Arizona or United States Supreme Court.
  • A vote NO: Would retain existing law on the state legislature’s ability to amend, divert funds from, or supersede an initiative or referendum measure.

Proposition 129: Legislature initiative measures

  • A vote YES: Would amend the constitution to limit each initiative measure to a single subject and require that subject to be expressed in the title of the initiative measure.
  • A vote NO: Would retain existing law on initiative measures.

Proposition 130: Property tax exemptions

  • A vote YES: Would amend the constitution to consolidate property tax exemptions into a single section; removing the constitutional determinations as to the amounts of certain property tax exemptions, leaving the legislature to prescribe by law the qualifications for and amounts of property tax exemptions it creates; allowing property tax exemptions for resident veterans with disabilities, widows, and widowers regardless of when they became Arizona residents; and establishing that a person is not eligible for property tax exemption under more than one category as a widow, widower, person with a disability, or veteran with a disability.
  • A vote NO: Would retain existing law on property tax exemptions.

Proposition 131: New executive officer position

  • A vote YES: Would amend the constitution to create the office of Lieutenant Governor beginning with the 2026 election; requiring that a nominee for Governor name a nominee for Lieutenant Governor to be jointly elected; replacing the Secretary of State with the Lieutenant Governor as first in the line of succession to the office of Governor; and provide that the Secretary of State, State Treasurer, Attorney General, and Superintendent of Public Instruction may succeed to the office of Governor regardless of whether they were elected.
  • A vote NO: would retain the current executive branch and existing law on executive succession.

Proposition 132: Legislature initiative and referendum measures

  • A vote YES: Would amend the constitution to require at least sixty percent of votes cast to approve an initiative or referendum that enacts a tax.
  • A vote NO: Would retain existing law on initiative and referendum measures.




We are just 28 days away from the General Election—keep an eye out for another edition of
The Navigator as we track key races.

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