Secretary of State Michele Reagan made a visit to Parker Feb. 19, and she and her staff set up their mobile office in the parking lot at Walmart. Reagan and her spokesperson, Matt Roberts, said they were there to handle business matters so people would not need to go to the office in Phoenix.
By John Gutekunst Parker Pioneer
They also had an important message for voters: a reminder that Independents cannot vote in the state’s Presidential Preference Election March 22 unless they change their voter registration affiliation to one of the recognized political parties.
Reagan said the PPE is the only election in the state where independents can’t participate. She and Roberts noted almost one-third of Arizona voters are registered as Independents.
“It’s state law that says independents can’t vote,” Reagan said. “It’s not some Secretary of State thing.”
The only way Independents can participate is if they change their voter registration affiliation. Reagan said this can be done online at the Arizona.vote website. She said the best part about it is that the affiliation can be changed back to Independent once the PPE is over.
“We’re trying to make it as easy as possible,” Reagan said. She acknowledged this can be a hassle, but added it’s better than not voting at all.
Reagan has supported legislation turning the PPE back over to the political parties, as it’s done in other states.
“If you can’t vote in it, why should you, as a taxpayer, have to pay for it?” Reagan asked.
Roberts said this legislation could save Arizona voters $10 million in election years.
In addition to telling people about the PPE, the mobile office assisted residents with business matters related to the Secretary of State’s office, including voter registration, registering notaries, registering trademarks and trade names, and the state museum. They were also testing the accuracy of voting machines prior to the PPE.
Reagan said the visit was part of the “Secretary on Your Street” program. She said they wanted to respond to the needs of rural communities.
“We’ve got this nifty RV,” she said. “Folks can come here and get some business done. They won’t have to go all the way to Phoenix.”
Roberts said the responses to the visits they’ve been making have been very positive. Prior to coming to Parker, they’d been to St. John, Winslow and Flagstaff. From Parker, they were headed for Kingman and Lake Havasu City.
“It’s been very good,” he said. “The weather’s been great and we’ve been meeting a lot of people.”