Arizona primary 2024: Biden, Trump win decisively

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President Joe Biden made his first Arizona visit of the 2024 campaign season on the day registered Democrats in the state overwhelmingly supported his return to the White House.

Biden arrived in Arizona on Tuesday after a stop in Las Vegas. His itinerary for primary day included a campaign event in Phoenix.

Early results in the state’s presidential preference election landed at 8 p.m., with few surprises: Biden and former President Donald Trump won their respective primaries with little opposition.

Follow coverage by journalists at The Republic and azcentral.com throughout the day.

For county-by-county Arizona elections results, visit our Arizona Primary Election results page.

Two minutes after Maricopa County released its first batch of unofficial results at 8 p.m., the Associated Press called the Arizona presidential preference election for President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump.

Supporters of President Joe Biden cheered his victory Tuesday.

“Arizonans played a critical role in electing President Biden and Vice President Harris in 2020, and since then they have fought every day to make a difference for our families,” said Sean McEnerney, manager of the Arizona Democratic Coordinated Campaign. “Under President Biden, hundreds of thousands of new, good-paying jobs are coming to our state; we’re investing in infrastructure to combat climate change, while lowering health care costs for Arizonans and capping the cost of insulin for seniors. Meanwhile, Trump is focused on division and personal gain for him and his wealthy friends. Trump ripped away women’s freedoms by overturning Roe, and now he wants to go further, banning abortion and attacking birth control nationwide.

“Four years ago, Arizonans chose President Biden’s promise of freedom and a fair shot for every family over the chaos and dysfunction of Trump, and we’ll do it again this fall.”

— Dan Nowicki

Arizona Democratic Party Chair Yolanda Bejarano acknowledged some Latino voters are drawn to the Republican Party. 

“I think it’s that we have not been talking to folks about the issues that President Biden has been delivering on. … Things like jobs, the CHIPS Act, the Inflation Reduction Act, lowering prescription drug prices,” she said after the “Latinos con Biden-Harris” campaign event at El Portal restaurant in Phoenix. 

She argued the recent fraud judgment against former President Donald Trump, the presumptive GOP nominee, undercuts the idea he has been a successful businessman. 

Bejarano added: “People like to be entertained. And sometimes, Donald Trump, what he does is it provides entertainment. People laugh at his rallies. It’s like they’re going to a circus.” 

— Laura Gersony 

Kai Newkirk, an organizer for AZ Ceasefire Now, voted for Democrat Marianne Williamson as a part of an effort to protest President Joe Biden’s actions surrounding the war in Gaza.

Newkirk voted at Arizona State University’s Tempe campus and spoke to students there about joining the effort.

“You talk to a number of them, and when you do connect with somebody, you can say, ‘Hey, the polling place is right there,” Newkirk said.

Vote Ceasefire AZ is a coalition of Arizona voters who are trying to send a message to Biden that they oppose his stance on the violence occurring in Gaza perpetrated by Israel’s government and his failure to call for a long-term cease-fire.

They pushed voters to vote for Williamson, instead of Biden, in Arizona’s presidential preference election.

While not an endorsement of Williamson, because of Arizona’s lack of “uncommitted” or “write-in” options for the preference election, the coalition is using her name because she is a pro-cease-fire candidate with name recognition.

Because of Biden’s win by just more than 10,000 votes in Arizona in 2020, the coalition was shooting for the same number of votes for Williamson in an attempt to highlight the power of the group’s message in the important swing state.

In the first tally of votes Tuesday, Williamson had garnered 7,572 votes, or 3.4%. Biden had 200,254 votes, or 90%.

Sarah Leon, an organizer for AZ Ceasefire Now, works at Phoenix City Hall and walked to the Maricopa County Recorder’s Office to cast her protest vote for Williamson.

Leon dropped off her mail-in ballot she revived months ago.

“I voted for Marianne Williamson. Again, not as an endorsement but as a strategy,” Leon said. “Just to redirect the votes away from Biden.”

— Morgan Fischer

The first round of unofficial election results are in from counties across the state, with additional drops expected throughout the night.

Maricopa County, the state’s largest, reported results from more than 540,000 early ballots received by election officials through Sunday.

County officials said they anticipate tallying an additional 30,000 ballots cast by voters at the polls on Tuesday. They are also expecting to receive tens of thousands of early ballots that were dropped off on election day. Counting those ballots will take longer because they must be signature verified and separated from their signed affidavit envelope by a bipartisan team before tallying.

President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump were dominating their respective party elections in the first tally of ballots released Tuesday.

The unofficial results in Arizona’s presidential preference election, or primary, suggested both men would easily win, as expected. The final numbers will be sought to determine how prevalent dissent was within Democratic and Republican ranks.

Counting is expected to extend beyond Tuesday as mail-in ballots dropped off on election day are verified as legitimately signed by legal voters.

— Ronald J. Hansen

Arizona voters can expect a first batch of unofficial election results about an hour after the polls close on Tuesday, but full results are likely to take days. 

State law gives county election officials until April 1 to officially wrap up counting for the presidential preference election.  

The results released first typically include early ballots cast by mail or dropped off before election day. Then, counties usually update results sporadically on election night as results roll in from polling places across the state. 

In the days after the election, officials will count early ballots dropped off immediately before and on election day. Elections staff will later process any ballots that require more investigation and follow-up, such as those with missing or mismatched signatures. 

— Sasha Hupka

If the polls close while you are still in line to vote, don’t leave. As long as you are in line at 7 p.m., you have a right to cast your ballot. 

The state’s first round of unofficial election results is expected around 8 p.m. After that, counties will update results at different times throughout the night as results roll in from polling places across Arizona.

— Sasha Hupka 

Liberals in Pima County have long been more likely to vote by mail than conservatives, who favor in-person voting on election day. But that trend has become especially pronounced in recent years as the COVID-19 pandemic popularized early voting nationwide.

During the 2016 presidential preference election, about 80% of Democrats and 76% of Republicans voted early. That’s the most recent preference election in which both parties have held races.

In recent state primary elections, the percentages of Democrats and Republicans voting early versus at the polls has diverged. In 2022, nearly 95% of voters casting a Democratic ballot in Pima County used an early ballot, compared with 76% of those casting a Republican ballot.

Complete early voting data for Tuesday’s election won’t be available until early next week.

— Sasha Hupka 

Voters across southern Arizona headed to the polls Tuesday – but most showing up to the polls in heavily Democratic Pima County were Republicans.

The county, which stretches along the U.S.-Mexico border from Tucson to Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, is home to roughly 239,000 registered Democrats and 176,000 registered Republicans. By midday Tuesday, county officials said about 700 Democrats and 4,300 Republicans had cast ballots at the polls.

— Sasha Hupka 

Rep. Greg Stanton, D-Ariz., and Gila River Indian Community Gov. Stephen Roe Lewis waited at the tarmac to greet President Joe Biden for his Phoenix arrival. Alluding to a CHIPS Act-related announcement the president will make Wednesday, Stanton said he looks forward to supporting Biden’s efforts to strengthen microchip manufacturing in Arizona and beyond.

“This is the epicenter of the most advanced manufacturing in America,” Stanton said. “The jobs that are going to make us competitive on the international stage, that’s happening right here in Arizona.”

Stanton added that he expects Biden to be spending more time in Arizona as the presidential election creeps closer.

“The growth economically, the growth in people, the amazing diversity we have — we are a microcosm of America,” Stanton said of Arizona. “You want to win the presidency, you got to win Arizona.”

Absent were Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs, the state’s top Democrat, and Rep. Ruben Gallego, D-Ariz., the party’s leading Senate candidate. They also didn’t attend Vice President Kamala Harris’ visit to Phoenix in early March, which was focused on the issue of abortion.

Reached for comment, Hannah Goss, Gallego’s spokesperson, wrote “there were votes in the House today” and Gallego was “in DC representing his district.” A Hobbs spokesperson was not immediately available for comment.

— Alexis Waiss and Laura Gersony

President Joe Biden spoke in downtown Phoenix on Tuesday to launch “Latinos con Biden-Harris,” a nationwide effort to mobilize Latino voters.

Biden noted that Latinos make up about one-quarter of Arizona’s voters.

“Anybody that doesn’t pay attention to them is really stupid,” Biden, leaning into the microphone, said to an audience of around 75 supporters at El Portal, a Mexican restaurant operated by community leaders Mary Rose and Earl Wilcox, both longtime Democrats.

“You were a large part of why we beat Donald Trump. … I desperately need your help,” he said.

— Laura Gersony 

President Joe Biden has landed in Arizona after Air Force One touched down at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport at 4:10 p.m.

Biden on Tuesday will kick off a new campaign initiative called “Latinos con Biden-Harris,” which aims to “engage and mobilize Latino voters, communities, and leaders across the country,” his reelection campaign said.

On Wednesday, Biden is expected to announce a multi-billion dollar award for the technology company Intel to expand its semiconductor production in the U.S.

— Alexis Waiss 

At a campaign event on Tuesday evening, President Joe Biden was expected to launch Latinos con Biden-Harris, an effort to mobilize Latino voters nationwide. Polling suggests the president’s support among Hispanic voters has eroded since he took office, and Democrats’ longtime advantage with voters of color is slipping.  

That comes even as former President Donald Trump, the likely Republican nominee, has called migrants “vermin” or said they are “poisoning the blood” of the country, echoing the language of fascist dictators like Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini. 

Biden’s campaign has been investing early in outreach to Arizona’s Latino population, opening their first office in Phoenix’s majority-Latino neighborhood of Maryvale. 

— Laura Gersony 

Simarn Singh was at Burton Barr Library on Tuesday morning handing out flyers and talking to voters about the protest vote campaign. Singh said organizers are hoping to get at least 11,000 votes for Marianne Williamson. 

“We’re hoping that this puts pressure on Biden that shows that Democrats aren’t satisfied with what he’s doing,” Singh said. “Especially the majority Muslim community here, people of color, we really want him to switch his stance.” 

— Reagan Priest 

Jocelyn Gomez voted at the Burton Barr Library. She said her preferred candidate is Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, but she settled for former President Donald Trump since DeSantis dropped out of the race. 

“I don’t think he’s the best candidate, but I think we got a lot done under him and I felt like we were moving forward,” Gomez said. 

— Reagan Priest 

Voters at Burton Barr Library on Tuesday were greeted by local DJ Robens Caimitte, who was playing a mix of ’70s tunes ranging from The Beatles to Fleetwood Mac. Caimitte works with a group called DJs at the Polls that aims to increase voter turnout by making voting fun.

“As people were coming in and out, they’re like, ‘Oh my God, the tunes are amazing,’ so they’re energized, they’re ready to vote,” Caimitte said. “It looks like I added to their morning.”

Several voters sang along as they walked into the vote center. Others stopped to chat with Caimitte.

— Reagan Priest

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Lake assails Gallego after casting her presidential preference ballot

GOP candidate for US Senate Kari Lake assails Democratic rival Ruben Gallego after casting her presidential preference ballot on March 19, 2024.

Sam Ballesteros/The Republic

Despite criticizing the Maricopa County voting system for its long lines that “punish” Arizonans submitting their vote on Election Day, Lake said she encourages Arizonans to go out and vote because that vote “sacred.” 

“People are struggling, and I don’t want to see that struggle anymore,” Lake said. “I want to see a great future for our country and a vote for Donald J. Trump will give us that great future.” 

Those comments came as the Grand Canyon University polling place where she cast her ballot stood mostly empty. Many other polling places across the county estimate there is no wait time.  

Lake added that she has not had contact with Blake Masters, a former U.S. Senate candidate who is now running for a U.S. House seat. She said she would back Abe Hamadeh in that congressional primary. 

— Alexis Waiss 

Kari Lake will be putting all her support behind former President Donald Trump in the presidential election, she said at Grand Canyon University’s polling station in Phoenix. Lake arrived to the polls with her husband, Jeff Halperin, at 10:25 a.m. to vote in Arizona’s presidential preference election. 

“I voted for him every single time he’s been on the ballot,” Lake said. “And I can’t wait to vote for him again on November 5th, when I’m on the ballot with him, and we’re going to take back our country and make America great again.” 

In addition to expressing enthusiastic support for the former president, Lake criticized “open border” policy and bipartisan efforts to reform America’s immigration system. 

“When President Trump gets in office, when I get into the Senate, we are going to have the largest repatriation operation this country has ever seen,” Lake said. “If you come to here illegally, you cannot stay. We’re not going to support people who commit crimes and come here illegally.” 

— Alexis Waiss 

Scattered snowstorms on Monday led to icy conditions and “a slow start” to election day in northern Arizona, according to Coconino County officials.

Election staff said the county, located about 150 miles north of Phoenix, was seeing only “moderate” voter turnout. Flagstaff received about six-tenths of an inch of snow on Monday, per the National Weather Service. The city is the largest in the region and serves as the county’s seat. 

The National Weather Service forecast called for a chance of rain and snow showers in the city on Tuesday, with a high near 45 degrees. 

Yavapai, Pinal and Maricopa counties also reported light voter turnout, but no adverse weather conditions. 

— Sasha Hupka 

Secretary of State Adrian Fontes told reporters that by mid-morning, Arizona election operations appeared to be “smooth sailing.”

He acknowledged that interest may be low, given Biden and Trump have already secured enough votes to win their respective parties’ nominations.

But Fontes urged Arizonans to vote anyway, as long as they are registered with either the Democratic or Republican parties. “It’s a good habit to have,” he said, of voting in all eligible elections.

Fontes said his office will be providing election updates throughout the day.

— Mary Jo Pitzl

On the eve of Arizona’s presidential preference election, officials from Arizona’s largest county said “the stakes are high” for smooth election operations. 

The comments from Maricopa County Supervisor Bill Gates came during a media briefing before a live Arizona PBS roundtable with other election officials. Maricopa County has been in the spotlight since allies of former President Donald Trump tried to pressure county supervisors to question their ballot tallies after he lost the 2020 presidential race.  

Since then, its leaders have repeatedly faced false allegations of election fraud and slews of threats. They also saw a rough 2022 general election in which the county experienced widespread printer problems. 

“Every election is important, even in an election where frankly, we know who the nominees are going to be for each of these parties,” Gates said. “We know people are watching it closely.” 

He added: “There is no such thing as a perfect election. Something will go wrong tomorrow. And we will learn from that.” 

— Sasha Hupka 

It depends on which county you live in.

Most counties will use a voting center model for this election, which allows voters to cast ballots at any polling site within its borders. Those counties include:

  • Cochise County
  • La Paz County
  • Maricopa County
  • Navajo County
  • Pima County
  • Santa Cruz County
  • Yavapai County
  • Yuma County

Other counties will use a precinct-based voting model in which voters are assigned a polling place based on where they reside. Those counties include:

  • Apache County
  • Mohave County
  • Pinal County

Some counties will use a hybrid model, offering some vote centers and some precinct-based voting options in specific areas. Those counties include:

  • Coconino County
  • Gila County
  • Graham County
  • Greenlee County

Check with your local election officials to find polling places in your county.

Here’s what to know about voting in person. 

— Sasha Hupka 

Secretary of State Adrian Fontes in December announced nine Republicans qualified for Arizona’s presidential preference election. Among them are former President Donald Trump, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley.

President Joe Biden will be running in the presidential preference election on the Democratic side. Fontes announced in December six other Democrats qualified for the ballot: Frankie Lozada, Gabriel Cornejo, Marianne Williamson, Jason Palmer, Stephen Lyons and Dean Phillips.

Biden and Trump have already clinched their parties’ nominations for the presidential race. Nonetheless, voters will still weigh in on their choice of presidential nominee.

Here’s what to know about counting ballots.

— Sasha Hupka 

If you run into any issues at the polls, you can get help by calling the Arizona Secretary of State’s Office at 877-THE-VOTE. 

Here’s what to know about voting in person. 

— Sasha Hupka 

I’m dropping off my ballot on election day. Can I skip the line? 

Yes. If you are just dropping off a mail-in ballot, you can skip the line and go straight to the drop box when you arrive at the polling site. 

— Sasha Hupka 

Turnout was low on Tuesday morning as polls opened in Maricopa County, the state’s most populous. County officials said roughly 3,100 had checked in at polling sites as of 8:30 a.m.

That’s a far cry from the tens of thousands that turned out to vote in the early hours of the 2022 primary and general elections.

About a third of the county’s electorate isn’t registered with the Democratic or Republican parties and cannot vote in Tuesday’s election. That accounts for some of the drop.

But county officials said turnout was still comparatively low on Tuesday morning. President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump have already clinched their parties’ nominations, making Arizona’s results largely inconsequential.

— Sasha Hupka 

You can find unofficial statewide results on election night at https://www.azcentral.com/elections/results/2024-03-19/arizona or on the Arizona Secretary of State’s website

Here’s what to know about counting ballots. 

— Sasha Hupka 

Yes, you can. Arizona voters can track their early ballots and check the status of their provisional ballots at the Arizona Voter Information Portal.

Maricopa County voters can track their ballots online on their voter dashboard at BeBallotReady.Vote.

Maricopa County voters can also text “JOIN” to 628683 to receive text notifications of when their ballot gets counted, verified and other details.

Here’s what to know about voting in person.

— Sasha Hupka

No. Voters who aren’t registered with a political party cannot vote in the presidential preference election. 

Independents will be eligible to vote in the July primary election, but must choose between a Republican, Democratic or municipal-only ballot. Even if you’re an independent on the Active Early Voting List, you won’t be automatically mailed a primary ballot unless you contact your county recorder to select a party. 

— Sasha Hupka 

Yes, you must show identification at the polls, unless you are dropping off a mail-in ballot in a signed affidavit envelope. 

Acceptable forms of ID include: 

  • Your valid Arizona driver’s license 
  • Your valid state identification card 
  • Your tribal enrollment card 
  • Other government-issued identification 
  • Two items, such as a utility bill and a bank statement, that bear your name and address 

— Sasha Hupka 

Polling locations across Arizona were set to open at 6 a.m. and ready to receive presidential preference voters. Polls will remain open until 7 p.m., though those still in line at that time have a right to cast a ballot. 

Here’s what to know about voting in person. 

— Sasha Hupka

Where to cast a ballot in the Arizona primary

Maricopa County will have more than 150 voting centers open on Tuesday, and registered Republicans and Democrats can cast a ballot at any of those locations.  

Find a list of voting locations at http://locations.maricopa.vote. Wait times will be displayed on the website. 

Most other counties use a similar vote center model in which voters can cast ballots at any polling site within the county. But some use a precinct-based voting model in which voters are assigned a polling place based on where they reside, and others use a hybrid model. Check your county’s election website to find polling places in your county. 

— Sasha Hupka



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