In Yavapai County, older adults rely on mail-in voting and drop boxes
Last week, a judge rejected the Arizona Republican Party’s request to block most mail ballots for the 2022 election. However, many older adults rely on early voting and voting by mail, especially in more rural parts of the state.
Leslie Hoffman is the Yavapai County recorder.
"We are charged with the 27 days of early voting, and then all the mail ballots, which is 79.2% in this county," Hoffman said.
And in the 2020 general election, "We had 87.6% turnout. One of the highest in the nation… very proud of that," Hoffman said.
Of those, nearly 72% of voters over the age of 55, voted early. "It's a pretty staggering amount. But again, we have been voting early in this county for so many years, that the people have gotten accustomed to doing it along with, they trust it," Hoffman said.
Despite the objections of some to mail-in voting, Hoffman says if early or mail-in voting went away, there would likely be a decline in turnout.
In addition, Yavapai County is a little over 8,200 square miles, and a lot of older voters may live in more rural areas.
"So not only do we have the early voting, or you can mail it back, but we have 19 drop boxes throughout the county. And in the 2020 General, two thirds of all of our mail ballots came back through those drop boxes."
Hoffman says if that were to go away, it could impact younger voters who can’t leave work to cast a ballot, as well as older adults and people with disabilities.