2020

Pima County set a record this week when it recorded the most registered voters in its history with 602,697 as of Monday.

Local party leaders aren't surprised by the surge.

The Pima County Recorder's office compared the jump to the 2016 presidential election, which had 543,509 registered voters. That's a 10.9 percent increase.

It wasn't just overall registered totals that increased. Republicans and Democrats in Pima County each made gains.

The deadline to register for the Nov. 3 election is Oct. 5. Residents can get information or register online on the County Recorder's website.

The numbers

The Arizona Secretary of State's office reported 237,568 registered Democrats during the Presidential Preference Election in March. Pima County reported 244,661 registered Democrats as of Monday – a 7,093 increase, or just under 3 percent.

During the same period, the state recorded 170,984 registered Republicans for Pima County. As of Monday, Pima County reported 177,048 registered Republicans – a 6,064 increase, or 3.5 percent.

The county also had an increase in voters registered as others, which includes Independents.

The state reported 173,304 others during the Presidential Preference Election. The county reported 176,393, including those registered as Green Party, as of Monday – a 3,089 increase, or 1.8 percent. The state does not have a separate count for Green Party, though Pima County does.

 Republicans are outnumbered by 67,613 in the county.

Overall registered voters increased by 16,501 in Pima County since the Presidential Preference Election.

Libertarians also accounted for some of the increase with 247 new registered voters during that period, 4,595 total in Pima County.

Local parties

United Republicans of Green Valley and Sahuarita President Yale Wishnick said he was concerned that the Republicans hadn't registered as many or more voters than the Democrats. He said he wasn't surprised since given what each side is offering voters.

Wishnick said the Democrats promise everything for free and a government that would take care of all their needs, whereas the Republicans believe individuals should be self-reliant.

However, the Democratic Club of the Santa Rita Area President Matthew Boyd said he wasn't surprised by the Republicans' gains in registering voters in Pima County.

"I expected as I saw the development going on down here, in places like Marana, Oro Valley, they seem to be more Republican draws than other places," he said. "In LD2, where we're based, I think we're still ahead in terms of our ability to get our state representatives elected."

Legislative District 2, which includes all of Santa Cruz County, has 34,414 registered Democrats, 23,236 Republicans, 493 Libertarians and 27,038 others.

Registering voters

Boyd said the Democrats are doing outreach events in public spaces and giving registration assistance at their headquarters at Continental Shopping Plaza.

He said he doesn't have any way of knowing if the coronavirus has affected the process but said it doesn't feel like there's been an impact.

However, Boyd said the Democrats haven't been doing door-to-door visits this election.

Wishnick said the Republicans are starting to go door-to-door now and said COVID-19 had caused some issues so far.

"Some reluctance on the part of folks to walk door-to-door, whether or not people would even want to see them or not," he said. "We're starting to see more of that."

However, Wishnick said United Republicans support the Pima County Republican Party and the Arizona Legislative District 2 Republican Party. He said they follow their guidance in training volunteers and outreach efforts.

Whether Republican or Democrat, there is one area the two parties have found common ground — assisting the public with using technology.

Boyd said residents typically need help registering because they aren't comfortable with using online methods. He said they provide them with forms and answer any questions they have along the way in those cases.

Wishnick also said technology was a common reason for residents visiting the United Republicans' headquarters in Green Valley Village. He said residents often need help finding the right website links to register or need one of their computers in the office.

After the deadline

Wishnick said once the deadline passes they will focus on energizing those who are registered.

"It's really just working on getting people out to vote," he said. "Getting people excited and engaged. We have almost every day in our office a meeting of some type."

Boyd said local Democrats will concentrate on the choices people will have on their ballots.

"That's one of the things we will be encouraging people is to vote all the way down the ballot," he said. "Because our local positions are important positions, and the propositions are important. People need to be educated, be aware of what they are and what their choices are."

Jorge Encinas | 520-547-9732