More than 854,000 voters in Maricopa County not affiliated with the Republican, Democratic or Libertarian parties are registered to cast ballots in the Aug. 2 primary election, according to County Recorder Stephen Richer.
The group, made up of other-party voters and those unaffiliated with any political party, outnumbers the 848,534 Republicans, 750,414 Democrats and 20,493 Libertarians who also are registered to vote.
To participate, these voters must make a ballot choice before voting, either by mail, online, over the phone or in person.
Arizona is one of 26 states that allow unaffiliated voters to participate in primary elections, according to research from the National Conference of State Legislatures.
States have different rules. In Colorado, for instance, independent voters receive a packet containing the ballots of all participating major parties and must choose one to return. In 15 states, unaffiliated voters and those registered to a political party can choose which ballot they want to fill out. That means a voter registered as a Democrat could choose to vote on Republican primary races, and vice versa.
Two states — Washington and California — use a “top two” primary format, which lists all candidates on a common ballot.
In Arizona, independent voters may request to receive a Republican, Democratic or municipal-only ballot. Municipal races are nonpartisan, and the municipal-only ballot is only available in cities or towns with local races in August. Voters who select that option will not be able to vote in federal, state and legislative primary races.