City’s spring election will rely entirely on ballot-by-mail

Three open Tempe City Council seats and three ballot propositions will be decided by voters this coming spring. Voter registration is taking place now.

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The primary election is March 13; the general is May 15.

It will be the first Tempe election that will be ballot by mail, which means every registered voter will automatically get a ballot.

Voters can drop off their voted ballots or get replacements at either of the two ballot centers in Tempe or at the Maricopa County Recorder’s Office.

Prospective candidates have until Dec. 13 to file their completed paperwork, at which time they will be certified for the ballot, or not, by the City Clerk’s Office.

Names and contact information of candidates certified for the ballot will be posted on

The primary election is held to nominate or elect candidates, according to the Tempe City Charter, Section 7.01. If there are no more than two candidates for each vacancy, the primary election is eliminated and the general is held on that date.

In the case of the 2018 elections, if there are six or fewer candidates, there will be one election, which would take place March 13.

On Nov. 9, the City Council approved three propositions for the March 13 ballot.

One would amend the Tempe City Charter to declare the city’s portion of Papago Park a preserve. Another would amend the charter to require the disclosure of the origins of major contributions used to influence local city elections.

The third would raise a state-imposed spending ceiling for cities enacted in 1980 so the city can spend the revenue it brings in.

The deadline for submitting arguments for or against any of the ballot measures that will be printed in the publicity pamphlet is Dec. 13.

Arguments must be submitted to They cannot exceed 300 words including argument title and must include a sworn statement from each sponsoring person. The cost per argument is $100 to offset a portion of the cost of the pamphlet printing.

Anyone wishing to vote must register by Feb. 12 for the March election and by April 16 for the May election. Ballots will be mailed Feb. 14 for the March election, April 18 for the May balloting.

Information about the elections—from voter registration to finding the results—can be found at or by calling 480-350-4311. Background information about Ballot by Mail is at



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