Voter FAQs - Correspondence
I received a new voter registration identification card from your office. I did not request a new card and I have not changed my address. Why did you send me a new card?
Arizona law requires that we test every registered voter’s address at least once every two years. Many times we test addresses by a computer check of the United States Postal Service National Change of Address database. At least once every four years we test addresses by sending a new voter registration identification card. If you received a card but did not make a change to your registration record, then you are part of the current address test. If you received the new card, you passed the test.
How does sending mail help keep the voter roll current?
Under Arizona law, any voter related mail sent by the Recorder’s Office must contain the postal endorsement “Return Service Requested.” When mail has this endorsement, the post office will return the mail to our office if you have moved. The mail will not be forwarded to you. Instead, if you have left a forwarding address with the post office, the postal service will provide that information to us with the returned mail. We will then send you a letter at the new address asking that you update your voter registration record. If you do not update your record within 35 days of receiving that letter, your voter registration record will be moved to “inactive” status.
Federal law requires that we make two attempts to contact you before your voter registration record may be moved to inactive status. The Voter Identification card is frequently the first attempt and the follow up letter is the second attempt.
Once you are on inactive status, no further election related mail will be sent to you unless you update your registration or otherwise contact our office. You will still be eligible to vote while you are on inactive status, but you will need to update your registration first or notify us that you still reside at the same address. If you do not update your address or vote in the next two federal elections, your voter registration will be cancelled. The cancellation generally occurs in December of an even numbered year, approximately a month after the federal election.
Sending this correspondence is expensive. Does keeping the voter registration roll up to date save money or is all the testing a waste of tax payer dollars?
It is actually a cost savings of tax dollars to keep the registration roll as current as possible. We live in a very mobile society. People are moving on a daily basis, some across town and others out of Pima County or out of state. Each jurisdiction conducting an election is required to send sample ballots to each household, print enough ballots so that every registered voter in the jurisdiction has a ballot plus a supply of replacement ballots and plans polling places and the number of poll workers based on the number of registered voters in the jurisdiction. Every voter who moves within the county and does not update their voter registration record results in a Provisional Ballot being issued on election day. The provisional ballots must then be processed before the election results can become final. These costs far outweigh the costs of sending the address test correspondence. By giving voters a reminder to update their registration to the new address and moving voters who have left Pima County to the inactive roll, we are able to save these additional printing, mailing and personnel costs.
I plan on moving and want to keep my voter registration current. What do I need to do?
As soon as you can after you move, update your voter registration record by submitting a new voter registration form. If you have an Arizona driver’s license, you can update your address with the Motor Vehicle Division and update your voter registration online by visiting the MVD website, www.servicearizona.com. Just click on the icon for registering to vote and that will allow you to update your MVD address at the same time.
You can also submit a regular voter registration form. In Pima County, forms are available at all libraries, post offices, MVD offices, all city and town halls, all political party headquarters, all public assistance offices and in most government buildings. You can also print out a voter registration form from our website, www.recorder.pima.gov.
You will receive a new voter identification card showing your new address and any other changes you make within 30 days after we receive the new voter registration form.
I received a letter from the Recorder’s Office telling me I need to update my registration and the letter refers to the Jury Commissioner’s Office. What does this mean?
Under Arizona law, half of the people being called to jury duty are selected from the voter registration roll and half are selected from the list of people who have an Arizona driver’s license or MVD issued identification card. The jury commissioner will randomly select a number of people from these lists and send them notice that they need to appear for jury duty. If that notice is returned to the Jury Commissioner by the postal service with an indication that the notice was not deliverable, the Commissioner will notify our office. The jury notification was the “first” notice under the federal law and the letter from our office constitutes the “second” notice.
If you have not moved and believe you are receiving this notice in error, please call the Recorder’s Office at 724-4330 and an operator will help you resolve the issue. If you have moved, you need to update your voter registration record by filling out a new voter registration form. If you do not contact the Recorder’s Office or update your registration, your voter registration record will be moved to inactive status 35 days after the Recorder’s Office letter was sent.
I received a letter from the Recorder’s Office notifying me that my voter registration was being cancelled due to my response to a jury notice. Why was my voter registration cancelled?
The jury summons that was sent to you contained a questionnaire to determine if you are eligible to serve as a juror. One of the questions asked you whether or not you are a citizen of the United States. The second question asked if you were a convicted felon who did not have their civil rights restored. If you answered the question that you were NOT a citizen of the United States or that you are a convicted felon but have not had your rights restored, the Jury Commissioner is required to notify the Recorder’s Office of your answers. Based on your answers, you are not eligible to serve on a jury and you are not eligible to be a registered voter. The Recorder’s Office is required to immediately cancel your voter registration.
If the answers you gave on the questionnaire were incorrect, you must contact the Jury Commissioner’s Office at 724-4222 to discuss this matter. The Jury Commissioner’s Office will then notify the Recorder’s Office if there is an error and your voter registration will be reinstated. Your voter registration will not be reinstated until the Jury Commissioner notifies the Recorder’s Office of the error.
If your answers to the questionnaire were correct, once you become a United States citizen or once your civil rights have been restored after a felony conviction, you will be eligible to register to vote and may do so at that time.
I received a letter from the Recorder’s Office informing me that I must update my voter registration since I used my business address as my voter’s registration address. I receive all my mail at my business address. Why can I not use that address for voter registration?
Under Arizona law, you must identify your actual residence address on your voter registration form. Unless you physically reside at your business address, you cannot use the address as the “residence” address on your voter registration. The voter registration form has a separate location for including a mailing address and you can use your business address as your mailing address, but you must still provide your actual residence address on the form.
If you actually reside at your business address, please call the Recorder’s Office at 724-4330 to discuss this matter as soon as possible.
If you do not reside at the business location, please complete a new voter registration form as soon as possible. A form should have been included with the letter. If we do not receive the new registration form within 15 days of the date of the letter, your voter registration will be cancelled.
I received mail from the Recorder’s Office addressed to someone who does not live at this address. What do I do with the letter?
Please write “Not at this Address” on the outside and place it in any United States Postal Service mailbox. The post office will then return it to our office. Under Federal law we can only move someone off the voter registration roll if we receive notice from the post office that the mail is not deliverable. Please do not just throw the mail away. If you simply throw the letter away, we must leave the person on the registration roll and you will continue to receive mail addressed to that individual.
Federal law requires that we make two attempts to locate a voter by mail before we move them to inactive status. Therefore you may receive a second letter from our office. We ask that you again write “Not At this Address” on the envelope and return that letter as well. Shortly after the second letter, we will move the voter to inactive status and no further mail will be sent.
I received a yellow post card from the Recorder’s Office informing me that I need to update my voter registration record. I have not moved. What caused the post card to be mailed?
The post card was sent to you because either mail we sent to you was returned with no forwarding address or the Postal Service National Change of Address database shows that you moved without providing a forwarding address. If you have not moved, please call our office at 724-4330 in order to make certain we do not incorrectly move your voter registration record to inactive status. If we do not receive a response from you within 35 days, your voter registration record will be moved to inactive status.
I am currently out of state and received a letter from the Recorder’s Office asking to cancel my voter registration. What do I need to do?
You received this letter because the Postal Service provided us with the out of state forwarding address for your mail. If you have moved out of state, please complete the form (include your name, date of birth and signature) and return it to us in the enclosed envelope and we will cancel your voter registration in Pima County. Be certain to register to vote in your new location as soon as you can since many jurisdictions have longer residency requirements and different voter registration deadlines than the State of Arizona.
You can also have your registration cancelled by registering to vote in your new jurisdiction and including your Pima County address on the voter registration form where it asks if you are currently registered to vote at another address. That jurisdiction will then routinely send our office notice of the change. This process will take much longer to have your record in Pima County cancelled then returning the request form directly to our office.
If you are only temporarily out of state, please call our office at (520) 724-4330 as soon as you can. Once you notify us that you are only gone temporarily, you will not need to update your voter registration at this time and we will not move your record to inactive status. If we do not hear from you within 35 days from the date of the letter, your record will be placed on inactive status.
I received a letter from the Recorder’s Office stating that my voter registration form could not be processed because it was incomplete. What steps do I need to take?
Under Arizona law, a voter must provide a minimum amount of information on certain key portions of the voter registration form before the form is considered to be complete. At the minimum, you must provide your name, residence address, date of birth, signature and check the boxes near the signature line to confirm that you will be at least 18 years of age by the next general election and are a citizen of the United States. If you are registering for the first time in Pima County, you must also provide proof of United States citizenship with your voter registration form. The proof of citizenship requirements are addressed in another question below.
If you are missing one of the required items of information, we are prohibited from processing your form. A voter registration form was included with the letter and you should fully complete the form as soon as possible. If you use the form we sent to you, your voter registration record will be back dated to the date on the original form once you have submitted a complete form. You will not be considered a registered voter and added to the registration roll until the missing information is provided.
If you have an Arizona driver’s license, you can also register to vote online at the Motor Vehicle Division website, www.servicearizona.com.
I received a letter from the Recorder’s Office stating that my voter registration form has been rejected due to failure to provide proof of citizenship. Why am I required to provide proof of citizenship and what do I have to do?
Arizona voters adopted an initiative measure in 2004 to mandate that all new voters in a county must provide proof of United States citizenship at the time of registering to vote. If you do not provide that proof with the registration form, the initiative measure mandates that your registration form be rejected. Any of the following items may be submitted to prove your citizenship:
1. Your Arizona driver’s license number or Arizona MVD issued identification card number. These numbers are only valid if the license or identification card were issued after October 1, 1996. Do not send your license or a photocopy of your license.
2. A photocopy of your birth certificate. If your name has changed since you were born, be certain to complete all sections of the voter registration form. Do not send an original birth certificate or a certified copy, we cannot return the document to you.
3. A photocopy of your United States passport showing your name and vital information.
4. The alien registration number from your Certificate of Naturalization. You may also send a photocopy of your certificate. Do not send the original certificate.
5. If you are Native American, you can provide the number from your Bureau of Indian Affairs card, tribal treaty card, or your tribal enrollment number.
Voter registration cards from any jurisdiction and a driver’s license issued by any other state is not acceptable.
You may also personally come to the Recorder’s Office with your completed voter registration form and bring the original of any of the documents listed with you. We will not keep the original if you bring it in personally.
I received a letter from the Recorder’s Office stating that my voter registration was canceled because I registered to vote in another Arizona county. I have not registered anywhere else. Why did I receive this letter and how do I get my registration reinstated?
Under federal law requirements, Arizona has a statewide voter registration database. Each county in Arizona will enter voter information into the computer system and the information is immediately transmitted to the statewide database. That database searches for matching information from all other records. The letter was prompted by a report from the statewide database that a voter with information matching your information has registered to vote in another county in Arizona. The information that is being matched is your name, date of birth, driver’s license number and a portion of your social security number. If you believe that you received this letter in error, please call the voter registration office at 724-4330 to discuss the problem. We will ask for more information from the state database and from the county that processed the registration form to determine if an error occurred. If an error is found, your Pima County voter registration will be reinstated. Please report this situation as soon as possible since you are not a registered voter in Pima County unless you report this problem.
If you did in fact register to vote in another county, and you have moved to that other county, you do not need to do anything further. The letter was sent to confirm your move and to rule out a computer error.
I received a letter from the Recorder’s Office stating that my voter registration was cancelled due to a felony conviction. I have not been convicted of a felony. Why was my registration cancelled?
Under Arizona law, the Clerk of the Superior Court for each county is required to report the identity of any person convicted of a felony offense to the Arizona Secretary of State’s Office.
The information from that report is compared to the statewide voter registration database to see if the information matches a registered voter. If a potential match is found, the county is notified. You were sent the letter because the information in your voter registration record matched the identity of a person who was convicted of a felony offense.
If you have not been convicted of a felony, please call the voter registration office at 724-4330 as soon as possible. The Recorder’s Office will then research the court record and compare that information to your voter registration record. If the information does not match, your voter registration record will be reinstated immediately.
If you have been convicted of a felony offense, under Arizona law, you are no longer eligible to vote and your registration was properly cancelled. You can regain your eligibility after you fully complete the sentence imposed by the judge. You should review the Frequently Asked Questions pertaining to felony convictions on this website for further information. Once your right to vote has been restored, you will need to complete a new voter registration form in order to become a registered voter.
I received a letter from the Recorder’s Office asking me to submit a new voter registration form to update my signature. Why was this letter sent to me?
In many election matters, the Recorder’s Office is required to conduct a signature comparison to confirm your identity. The law requires that this comparison be made between a document and your voter registration form. The documents include any type of petition, a vote by mail ballot and a provisional ballot. If the Recorder’s Office is not able to positively conclude that the same person made both signatures, we are required to invalidate the document.
It is very common for a person’s signature to change over time. Some people choose to change their signature. Others change their signature as a result of an injury or an illness. This letter was sent to you because we noticed significant differences between the signature on your most recent voter registration form and another document we were reviewing. We are asking that you provide an up to date signature so that we do not have issues in making the signature comparison in the future. You are not required to send in the new voter registration form, but it would helpful in processing future vote by mail ballots, provisional ballots or petition signatures to have the updated signature on file.
I received a letter from the Recorder’s Office asking me to update my registration signature even though I submitted a voter registration form online. Since I just sent in a new form, why am I being asked to complete another form?
In many election matters, the Recorder’s Office is required to conduct a signature comparison to confirm your identity. The law requires that this comparison be made between a document and your voter registration form. The documents include any type of petition, an early ballot and a provisional ballot. If the Recorder’s Office is not able to positively conclude that the same person made both signatures, we are required to invalidate the document.
A number of the signatures from the online registration system are not usable for signature comparison. They arrive in our office as either large blobs of black ink or missing significant portions of the signature. That is the case for the form we received from the Motor Vehicle Division for your online registration. In order to prevent problems with your future voting activity, we request that you provide an original signature to our office. You are not required to send in the new form, but it would be helpful in processing any vote by mail ballot, provisional ballot or petition signature from you.
I received a letter asking me to update my voter registration because the post office notified the Recorder’s Office that my mail was returned because I was temporarily away. I did not go anywhere, so why did I receive this letter?
If you placed a temporary hold on your mail while you were out of town, the postal service is still showing that hold. Even if you had your mail forwarded to another address, the post office will not provide us with that forwarding address since it is only a temporary change. However, they returned the mail we sent to you marking it as undeliverable.
If you have returned to the same residence, please contact the voter registration division at 724-4330. We will be able to update our record that you are now receiving mail again at your address. If you do not contact our office within 35 days of the date of the letter, your voter registration will be moved to inactive status. If that occurs and you return to the same address, you can have your record returned to active status by calling the voter registration office.