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Your Arizona ballot, explained

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Graphic by Pascal Albright

Editor's Note: This story was produced as part of the Daily Wildcat's "Election Guide" special print edition, published Wednesday, Oct. 21, and available on campus or online.

Elections are approaching quickly and every day voting is all you seem to hear about. To help you out, we’re diving into what your 2020 ballot will look like before you hit the polls. 

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When you receive your ballot, it may be overwhelming. Many names and positions will come up on the ballot that you haven’t heard of or don’t seem to matter to you. For most students, ballots will probably differ a lot from each other since many students will be voting for their own local elections. 

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Students out of state or district will see names completely different in terms of positions for local offices. It is best to do your own research on the candidates for these offices if you are not a resident of Tucson and/or Arizona. If you have an early, mail-in or absentee ballot, you can also look at the voter guide that comes with that. 


Federal Elections (the big ones)

U.S. President: There are four candidates qualified to be on enough state ballots to win a majority in the Electoral College. These candidates include President Donald Trump of the Republican party, Vice President Joe Biden of the Democratic party, Jo Jorgensen of the Libertarian party and Howie Hawkins of the Green Party. There are also multiple candidates that have qualified to appear on five or more state ballots, including Kanye West. 

U.S. Senator: U.S. Senators are elected by their home state to serve in the Senate for six years. Two senators are appointed for each state. Special elections are being held for Arizona’s Martha McSally, who was appointed by Governor Doug Ducey in 2018.

On the Pima County ballot: Senator Martha McSally (R) and Mark Kelly (D).

U.S. Representative: The U.S. has 435 congressional districts that each have an elected representative that serves for their district in the U.S. House of Representatives or Congress. There are nine congressional districts in Arizona that have elected representatives in the House. All 435 seats are up for election in Congress on the 2020 ballot.

On the Pima County ballot — District 3 (the University of Arizona’s district): Congressman Raúl Grijalva (D) and Daniel Wood (R)


State Elections

State Senator: The State Senate, or the “upper house” of the state legislature, serves as the smaller governing body that makes up the state legislature, the legislative branch of state government. Arizona is one of the 12 states where state senators only serve a two-year term, meaning all seats are up for reelection every two years, including this year. There are 30 districts in Arizona that elect a state senator. 

On the Pima County ballot — District 3: Sally Ann Gonzales (D) 

On the Pima County ballot — District 9 (off-campus, around the Catalina Foothills): Victoria Steele (D)

State Representative: The State House of Representatives, or the “lower chamber” of the state legislature, serves as the larger body of the state legislative branch. Arizona state representatives serve two year terms, meaning all 60 seats in the Arizona House of Representatives are up for election in 2020. Arizona is one of 12 states that vote two representatives from each district. Depending on your state, the seats up for election may differ. 

On the Pima county ballot — District 3: Andrés Cano (D) and Alma Hernandez (D)

On the Pima County ballot — District 9: Randall Friese (D) and Pamela Powers Hannley (D), Brendan Lyons (R)

State Executive: The state executive office includes the following positions: Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, Secretary of State and down-ballot. Down-ballot executive offices includes corporate commissioners, which is on the Pima ballot. Depending on where you are from, the state executive seats up for election will differ, so do your research if you will be voting in a different state. 

On the Pima County ballot — three seats on the Arizona Corporation Commission: Lea Marquez Peterson (R), William Mundell (D), Shea Stanfield (D), Anna Tovar (D), James O’Connor (R) and Eric Sloan (R)


Local Elections

Local Elections will vary greatly by state, city and county. Municipal or local, elections range from any city position to county positions, like treasurers, sheriffs and city council. Along with local elections, many counties and cities will be holding school board elections. 

On the Pima County ballot: Pima County board of supervisors Districts 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5, county attorney, sheriff, county recorder, county treasurer, county assessor, county school superintendent, justice of the peace precincts 2, 4, 6, 9 and 10, constable precincts 1, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10, Pima Community College district member, superior court judges and the governing board for Tucson Unified School District. 


Judicial Elections

All Justices/Judges are up for retention, which is a confirmation by citizens of the gubernatorial appointment of a judge or justice. 


Justices of the State Supreme Court: Justices of the state supreme court are selected in whichever way the state has decided in their state’s constitution. Arizona has seven justices on its supreme court that are each appointed by the governor. The justices appointed are up for retention after two years. 

There are three Arizona Supreme Court Justices up for retention on the 2020 ballot including Chief Justice Robert Brutinel (R), Justice Andrew Gould (R) and Justice John Lopez IV (R).


Judges of the Intermediate Appellate Courts: Judges for the Arizona Court of Appeals Division 1 (Maricopa County) and Division 2 (Pima County) are selected by the state's governor. They are up for retention after a certain period of time to fully serve a six-year term. 

On the Pima County ballot: Sean Brearcliffe


Propositions

Propositions will vary by state, please research your state’s propositions if you live outside of Arizona. 

Prop 207: Proposition 207 would legalize the possession, use and cultivation by adults 21-years-old and older of marijuana. It would also amend criminal penalties for marijuana, ban smoking it in public, impose a 16% excise tax on marijuana sales to fund public programs and allow expungement of marijuana offenses.

Prop 208: Proposition 208 would impose a 3.5% income tax surcharge on single persons making an annual income higher than $250,000 or married persons making an annual income higher than $500,000 to increase funding for public education. 

Prop 486 (City of South Tucson): Proposition 486 proposes an alternative expenditure limit that would replace the state imposed one for the next four years, to be assessed yearly. An expenditure limit is put into place to restrain governmental budget growth on tax or spending side. 

For more information on the propositions, check out the Daily Wildcat's proposition guide.


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