Yuma Primary Election: what you need to know

Election could decide who fills open seats

YUMA, Ariz. - The City of Yuma said the upcoming primary could decide who will be on Yuma's City Council.

Election day for city offices is now less than a week away. The city wants to remind residents with early ballots to turn them in promptly, and those who plan to vote at the polls to vote should know their polling location and arrive with proper identification.

According to a press release, Yuma voters will decide the city’s next mayor and presiding judge, and three at-large seats on the Yuma City Council. Per City Charter, the Aug. 29 election could decide as many as all open seats, if candidates exceed 50 percent of the votes among the ballots cast.

Mayor Douglas Nicholls and Presiding Judge James Coil are both running unopposed. Seven council candidates are on the ballot and one write-in candidate is registered for this election.

Council candidates are at-large, not responsible for individual geographical areas. City of Yuma elections are nonpartisan.

To ensure timely delivery of early ballots from this point onward, you're urged to drop off early ballots at the office of the Yuma County Recorder, 197 S. Main St. (this location has changed since the last city-only election). The Recorder’s Office has a collection receptacle outside the building for deposit of early ballots anytime, at the voter’s convenience, until election day. An additional ballot receptacle has been set up at the headquarters of the Yuma Police Department, 1500 S. 1st Ave.

While early ballots may also be dropped off at any of the three polling places on election day itself, there is no guarantee that ballots dropped off that day will be processed, verified and tallied in time to be included with Tuesday night’s results. (These will be counted as part of the official total when counting is complete, usually later in the week.)

Any mail-in ballots that arrive after polls close at 7 p.m. Tuesday will not be counted.

Registered voters may also vote early in person at the Recorder’s Office between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. through Friday. Those who had intended to vote at a polling location but have since learned of a conflict may vote in person at the Recorder’s Office 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. this Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 26-27.

Voting At The Polls
Yuma County uses vote centers now instead of specific polling sites, meaning registered City voters may cast their ballot at any one of the three vote centers instead of just one assigned location. Voters can choose to vote at the most convenient of the three locations on Tuesday.

Voting centers open at 6 a.m. and close at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, August 29.

The locations where City residents may vote are as follows:
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Neighborhood Center, 300 S. 13th Ave.
Yuma Civic Center, 1440 W. Desert Hills Drive.
Community Christian Church, 6480 E. Highway 95.

Those voting at the polls are reminded there is a 75-foot boundary marked by signs outside of polling places. This boundary prohibits anyone from campaigning within the 75-foot marked-off area.

Those who plan to vote at the polls will need to bring photo ID containing a photograph, name and address of the voter. Valid forms of photo ID include:
Valid Arizona driver’s license.
Valid Arizona non-operating identification card.
Tribal enrollment card or other form of tribal identification.
U.S. federal, state or local government-issued identification.

For those who do not have a photo ID, several other forms of non-picture identification will be accepted, of which two are required. Examples of these include:
Utility bill dated within 90 days of the election.
Bank or credit union statement dated within 90 days of the election.
Valid Arizona vehicle registration or vehicle insurance card.
Indian census card, tribal enrollment card or other form of tribal identification.
Property tax statement.
Recorder’s certificate or voter registration card.
U.S. federal, state or local government-issued identification.
Any other official election material mailing bearing the voter’s name and address.

Photo ID with a non-matching address may require a second form of identification, such as any of those previously listed.

Only registered voters residing in the Yuma city limits may participate in this election. To check the status of your registration online, type in your address where prompted on the Arizona Secretary of State's "Voter View" page,

Please call the County Recorder's Office with any voter-related questions at 373-6034.

What's At Stake
Voters will nominate and/or elect candidates for Mayor, three at-large seats on the City Council and one Presiding Municipal Court Judge.

Candidates may be directly elected to a seat during this primary election. Any candidate who receives at least 50 percent plus one vote among all the votes cast will win the seat and will not participate in the general election. Others would advance to the general election at the rate of two candidates per open seat.

Although elections are run by Yuma County, as this election is for the City of Yuma only, the City will release the results. By state law, the earliest any election results may be released is one hour after the polls close, or 8 p.m. Shortly after that time, the first batch of results will be:
Posted on the City's website,
Available on the City’s official Facebook page, City of Yuma Government, and Twitter feed, @cityofyuma (we will provide links to our website post).
Playing on rotating screens on the City cable television channels, City 73 and Ciudad 72.

Once vote tabulation has completed for the night on Tuesday evening, Aug. 29, the City will additionally issue a news release to its email news release distribution lists with the results to that point and the best estimate available as to the number of late early ballots remaining to be processed and counted.

After The Election
Based on recent history, final results will not be available until all “late early” ballots are processed and the period for resolution of any conditional provisional ballots has passed, which would most likely be Friday, Sept. 1.

Signs placed by any candidate not advancing to the general election should remove their signs within 15 days after the primary election.

Editorial Note: We are still working on getting an interview with former city council member Leslie McClendon, who is running for one of the open seats. 

We have not been able to get in touch with write-in candidate Valerie McIntire.

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