PHOENIX – Secretary of State Adrian Fontes held a series of events on Tuesday, National Voter Registration Day, to encourage voter registration in Arizona.
During an event at the Phoenix Coding Academy, Fontes cited a 2016 Republican primary for Arizona’s 5th Congressional District as a prime example of the importance of voting.
“The difference in the number of votes was 16 votes,” Fontes said at the event. “If just 17 of you had voted the other way, we’d have a different person representing us in Congress.”
Arizonans can register to vote at servicearizona.com.
The events came after a recently launched campaign to amend the state constitution and rework Arizona’s primary elections structure.
The proposed initiative, known as the Make Elections Fair Act, seeks to change Arizona primary elections to one single ballot with all running candidates, rather than partisan ballots given based on voters’ political affiliations.
The latest voter registration numbers from the Arizona Secretary of State’s office show that independent voters edged out Republicans in July to become the largest single group of voters in the state.
Fontes said in an interview the initiative is “an opportunity for Arizona citizens to be their own rulemakers.”
“In very few states this exists. Arizona is lucky, in 1912 we got one of the most progressive state constitutions in the union that allows for this sort of thing,” Fontes said of the ability of voters to put initiatives on the ballot.
Fontes said the initiative language is still being drafted and is expected to be released sometime next week.
Reporter Renee Romo contributed to this story.