Lake Havasu City residents are hitting the polls this week to vote early in this year’s general election, and others will have until the end of this week to register to vote on election day.
Election officials initially saw large crowds turning out to vote early at the Mohave County Library, those crowds appeared to have thinned by Wednesday afternoon.
“It was awesome,” said Havasu resident Jay Ciolino, who voted at about 2 p.m. Wednesday. “There was nobody in there. It was like I was next in line as soon as I walked in. Voting was very simple this year.”
According to Havasu resident Victoria Stover, mid-afternoon wait times were relatively short. Originally from Washington State, Stover noted an easy process in Havasu.
“Where I come from, you can stick your ballot in a ballot box down at the post office,” Stover said. “But for me, that was still a longer drive than I took to come (to the library).”
Early voting hasn’t been so convenient in other areas of the country, where citizens have reported waiting hours in line to cast their ballots. And as possible large crowds on election day spur fears of contact with the coronavirus, Mohave County Recorder Kristi Blair said last month that she expects as many as 80,000 of an estimated 126,783 registered voters countywide to vote by mail this year.
A U.S. Appellate Court ruled this week in favor of extending the registration deadline for Arizona residents to midnight Friday. The decision followed a lawsuit by two nonprofit organizations, who argued that the original deadline of Sept. 30 was too soon, due to the impact of coronavirus on voter registration efforts this year. Although a U.S. District court initially extended the deadline to Oct. 15, it has since been further extended. But even with a deadline extension for in-person voters, Mohave County Recorder Kristi Blair expects many voters to cast their ballots early, or by mail this year.
Attempts to contact Mohave County Recorder Kristi Blair or Elections Director Allen Tempert for this story were unsuccessful as of Wednesday evening.
Voters can still register by filling out a form at the Mohave County Public Library, the Arizona Motor Vehicle Department, the U.S. Post office or the Mohave County Voter Registration Office in Kingman.
Registration can also be done online at www.servicearizona.com.
All voters must be U.S. citizens, at least 18 years old, and must have been an Arizona resident at least 29 days prior to the election. Voters cannot have been convicted of a felony unless their civil rights have been restored.