Over 200,000 ballots already cast in Arizona
February 21st, 2012
07:26 PM ET
3 years ago

Over 200,000 ballots already cast in Arizona

Mesa, Arizona (CNN) – Arizona's Republican presidential primary is still a week away, but more than 200,000 people have already cast ballots.

According to officials in Maricopa County, 167,838 Republican ballots have been returned, out of over 388,000 early ballots that were requested. In neighboring Pima County, officials said 40,688 ballots have been returned, out of 85,041 that were mailed out.

CNN LIVE: Tune in Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET for the last presidential debate before Super Tuesday, the CNN/Arizona Republican Party Debate hosted by John King. Follow it on Twitter at #CNNDebate and on Facebook at CNN Politics. For real-time coverage of the Arizona and Michigan primaries, go to CNNPolitics.com or to the CNN apps or CNN mobile web site.

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Maricopa County, which includes Phoenix, and Pima County, which includes Tucson, account for about three-quarters of Arizona's population.

"I would say turnout is good," said Evonne Reed, a public information officer in the Maricopa County Recorder's office.

She added, "This isn't quite like 2008. There was a little more excitement because of the competition."

Four years ago eventual Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain won his home state, topping former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney by 12 points. Just over 541,000 people cast ballots in the 2008 GOP primary.

Early voting in Arizona began on February 2, and the conventional wisdom is that ballots returned in the first week may favor Romney, who had just come off an impressive victory in the Florida primary and went on to crush the rest of the GOP candidates in the Nevada caucuses. Former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania did not begin to surge in public opinion polls in Arizona until after his sweep of the February 7 contests in Colorado, Minnesota and Missouri.

–CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report

Also see:

Paul ad slams Santorum

Obama campaign takes a swing at Santorum

Gingrich describes Obama as a national security risk

Franklin Graham questions Obama, Romney on Christian Faith


Filed under: 2012 • Arizona
soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. Texas

    As long as the GOP keeps running, the Dems can just sit back and let the GOP re-elect Obama.

    February 21, 2012 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  2. T'sah from Virginia

    I have a question – when you MAIL in a ballot, what ID is checked????? If every state allows "mail-in" ballots then the MILLIONS of people that are eligible to vote should mail it in!! Well, I'm sure that would never happen especially if the Republicans are in charge!!

    Obama 2012!

    February 21, 2012 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  3. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    I like the idea of voting early. If it gets more people voting, I guess it can't be too bad.

    February 21, 2012 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
  4. Satberry

    Willard is toast those early ballots are going to help Santorum.

    February 21, 2012 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm |