Arizona primary 2022 recap: Lake takes narrow lead over Taylor Robson as more results come in; Hobbs wins on Democratic side
Polls closed at 7 p.m. Tuesday as voters made choices in Republican and Democratic primaries to determine who squares off in the November general election.
A U.S. Senate seat is up for grabs in 2022, along with the governor, secretary of state, attorney general, schools superintendent and other statewide offices and several local races, including for Maricopa County attorney, mayor and city council.
Kimberly Yee, the incumbent treasurer and a former state lawmaker, won Tuesday's primary election as she seeks another four years in office.
She faced two Republican opponents, who significantly trailed her, according to results released by the Arizona Secretary of State's Office. The Associated Press called the race for Yee late Tuesday.
One opponent, Jeff Weninger, is a lawmaker and restaurant owner who ran for statewide office for the first time. Bob Lettieri is former treasurer for the state GOP and longtime financial executive for various companies.
Yee will now face Democrat Martín Quezada, a state senator, in the November general election. Quezada faced no competition in the primary election.
— Ryan Randazzo
Blake Masters, a protégé of billionaire Peter Thiel and former President Donald Trump’s pick for Arizona’s U.S. Senate seat, defeated his challengers and gives the state its first Trump-style Senate candidate on the November ballot.
Unofficial results were in line with recent public polling that showed the Tucson resident took command of a previously tight race after receiving Trump’s backing in June.
Jim Lamon, the founder of Depcom Power, an Arizona-based solar company, finished in second place. Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich narrowly edged out Michael “Mick” McGuire, the retired adjutant general of the Arizona National Guard. Arizona Corporation Commission member Justin Olson finished last.
Masters’ victory hands the Republican nomination to a first-time politician whose youth and aggressive brand of conservatism stand in contrast to the low-key centrism embodied by incumbent Sen. Mark Kelly, D-Ariz.
The nonpartisan Cook Political Report immediately rated the matchup between Masters and Kelly a toss-up in a race that could help determine control of the Senate.
— Ronald J. Hansen
Kari Lake and Karrin Taylor Robson were in a narrow battle for the Republican nomination for governor early Wednesday morning.
Lake, the former news anchor, and Taylor Robson, a developer and former member of the Arizona Board of Regents, remained locked in a close race, the early results showed. Taylor Robson led throughout Tuesday night, but Lake narrowly overtook her early Wednesday morning.
The winner will face Democrat Katie Hobbs in the November election.
— Stacey Barchenger
12:50 a.m.: Mark Finchem wins GOP primary for secretary of state
State Rep. Mark Finchem has won the Republican nomination for Arizona secretary of state, propelled by a platform of radical election reform rooted in his ongoing denial of the 2020 election results, and an early endorsement from former President Donald Trump.
Finchem, from Oro Valley, took the lead early in the four-way GOP contest and only widened the gap as more results came in. The Associated Press called the race for Finchem early Wednesday morning.
On the Democratic side, former Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes led state Rep. Reginald Bolding as election night rolled into Wednesday.
— Mary Jo Pitzl
12:40 a.m.: Congressional District 6 races called
The Associated Press early Wednesday morning called the races for Arizona's 6th Congressional District.
Kirsten Engel won the Democratic nomination for U.S. House, and Juan Ciscomani the Republican nomination. District 6 includes Arizona's southeastern region encompassing Tucson. Republicans saw it as a prime pickup opportunity. The primary winners will face off in November to replace outgoing Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, a Democrat.
In other congressional races, Trump-favored candidates held leads.
Rep. David Schweikert led over Elijah Norton and vocal Trump supporter Josh Barnett in the GOP primary to represent District 1, which covers the northeast Valley and parts of central Phoenix.
Former President Donald Trump gave a boost to Schweikert in June after Norton sought to brand him as “shady” for his 11 House ethics investigations.
For the newly drawn Congressional District 2 that favors Republicans, Trump-backed Eli Crane held a sizable lead over Walt Blackman for the Republican nomination.
The GOP winner will face off against Democratic incumbent Rep. Tom O'Halleran, who is seen by election analysts as the most endangered House member in Arizona.
— Taylor Seely
Kari Lake and Karrin Taylor Robson each optimistically addressed supporters at their respective election night gatherings Tuesday evening.
Taylor Robson, who led in early results, urged those gathered to “keep calm. Keep the faith and keep us in your prayers. Because at the end of the day, we’re going to win this thing.”
Just a few miles away at a Scottsdale hotel, Lake had her own confident message despite an election system she has cast doubt on for months. Lake told supporters that many election day votes hadn’t yet been counted, and said that’s where they voted for her.
“We knew we had a movement from day one and we knew it would not be easy," Lake said, again referencing unspecific election process problems.
“They want to take the air out of this movement. They don’t want us celebrating.”
— Stacey Barchenger
Abe Hamadeh, a Trump-backed candidate, was leading in early results for the Arizona attorney general Republican primary Tuesday night.
Hamadeh was followed by Rodney Glassman, with Andrew Gould and Dawn Grove behind him.
The winner of Tuesday’s primary will face Democrat Kris Mayes in the November election. Mayes ran unopposed.
A fence has been erected around the Maricopa County Recorder’s Office in Phoenix, with several sheriff’s deputies parked around the building in marked cars.
The area seemed relatively quiet with no sign of protesters as of about 8:30 p.m. Tuesday.
— Perry Vandell
Tom Horne had an early lead in the race for Republican nominee for superintendent of public instruction. Trailing Horne were Shiry Sapir and Michelle Udall. Horne is seeking what would be his third term as state superintendent.
The winner of the race will face incumbent Democrat Kathy Hoffman in the November election.
Preliminary election results released Tuesday evening show Rachel Mitchell with a commanding lead in the Republican race for Maricopa County attorney.
Mitchell is running against Gina Godbehere for the Republican nomination to serve out the remaining two years of the Maricopa County attorney's four-year term. The winner will likely face Julie Gunnigle, the sole Democratic candidate, in November's general election.
Paul Gosar was declared the winner of the Republican nomination for U.S. House in Arizona's 9th Congressional District by The Associated Press. The longtime congressman held a commanding lead over three primary challengers.
In November, the House had voted to censure and strip Gosar of his committee assignments for posting an animated video depicting the killing of a colleague.
Former state lawmaker David Farnsworth had a sizable lead over Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers, R-Mesa, in early results for the Senate seat in their east Mesa district.
Bowers gained national spotlight for resisting attempts by former President Donald Trump and his legal team to help overturn the 2020 election, later giving emotional testimony on the matter before the House Select Committee on the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol. The Arizona Republican Party censured the longtime conservative in July.
8 p.m.: Taylor Robson leads Lake in race for GOP nomination for governor in early results
Karrin Taylor Robson was leading Kari Lake in the first batch of election results released Tuesday evening in the Republican primary. The other two Republican candidates, Scott Neely and Paola Tulliani-Zen, trailed far behind.
On the Democratic side, outgoing Secretary of State Katie Hobbs was declared the winner by The Associated Press over Marco López.
8 p.m.: Masters leading for U.S. Senate GOP nominee in early results
Blake Masters was ahead in the first drop of results released by the state shortly after 8 p.m. Tuesday.
Trailing Masters, who was endorsed by Trump, were Jim Lamon, Mark Brnovich, Michael "Mick" McGuire and Justin Olson, in that order.
The winner of Tuesday’s election will take on incumbent Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly in the November election.
8 p.m.: Finchem and Fontes ahead in Republican, Democratic bids for secretary of state
Adrian Fontes led over Reginald Bolding in the race for Democratic nominee for secretary of state.
On the Republican side, Trump-endorsed Mark Finchem was ahead of Beau Lane, Shawnna Bolick and Michelle Ugenti-Rita, in that order.
7:50 p.m. Last minute votes cast at Mesa Community College
Voters cast their ballots and dropped off early voting forms at Mesa Community College Tuesday evening.
Mesa resident Marvin Wallace, 43, said the process to drop off his early voting ballot was very simple.
“I already had the early ballot, so I just came and dropped it off,” said Wallace. "As far as I can see, the process hasn’t differed from anything in the past other than the ballots being a little thicker.”
For Wallace, issues involving education and pro-law enforcement were most important in considering which candidate to vote for.
“It’s important that we get viable candidates that would work toward a better situation for the public at large,” said Wallace. “When I voted for my primary candidates, it was who would I think is a better candidate as far as caring more about issues, as opposed to insulting or going after other candidates."
For Monique Rodriguez, 35, the voting process at Mesa Community College was “painless.”
“I went in and voted,” said Rodriguez. “I did all the research before I came in, so I just 'boop boop boop,' filled them in.”
Rodriguez added that the voting center was busy and that she attempted to fill her ballot in “as well as possible,” despite having issues with the pens provided.
“The pen was a little funky, which I don’t know why it bothered me for some reason,” said Rodriguez. “It was just smashed in a little bit and they were saying to try to keep it in the lines."
When considering primary candidates, Rodriguez said that the biggest issue was women’s rights, education funding for teachers and building better communities
“I think we’ve had a lot of misrepresentation of what people think Arizona is versus what Arizona actually is,” said Rodriguez. “These smaller elections are way more important just because you have these people that are representing you. It’s weird because I didn’t care about this growing up and now I’m starting to learn how to care more about it in my 30s.”
— Haleigh Kochanski
Many voters in the West Valley have been making their way to polling places, especially to drop off their mail-in ballots. That was the case for several who showed up to Pendergast Elementary School in west Phoenix Tuesday afternoon.
Jose Guzman, a lifelong Phoenix resident, brought in his mail-in ballot, saying there was an added convenience to “sitting in your own living room or your own kitchen table" and filling out the ballot.
One aspect that stood out to him this election is that one candidate, Richard Andrade for Arizona Senate District 22, came to his house.
"Andrade came and I was surprised about that," Guzman said. He said that people who are running think a vote is automatic. He appreciated that Andrade made a commitment to work for his vote.
James W. Rice Elementary School in west Phoenix also saw a slow influx of voters Tuesday afternoon.
Itshu Bello Espinoza, an event worker for Live Nation, said she decided to come in and vote instead of her usual mail-in ballot routine.
"I usually vote by mail, but this time I'm going in person and make sure someone is there," said Espinoza.
After feeling uneasy to mail-in her ballot after the last election, she walked to the polling place from her home. After this election, Espinoza said she hopes both sides can coexist.
"There is always going to be a division, but try to find a middle ground and try to hear each other out," she said. "Be respectful of each other's beliefs but still talk about it and work on it.”
— Jodicee Harris
A slow but steady group of people streamed through Burton Barr Central Library near downtown Phoenix on Tuesday afternoon — many with their mail-in ballots to drop off.
Anthony Niel, a Phoenix resident who works in maintenance for a local school district, said the race for Maricopa County attorney was the most important to him despite Julie Gunnigle being the only Democratic candidate running.
Niel said the erosion of abortion rights and the possibility that women and medical professionals could be imprisoned for what was once a protected medical procedure made that race in particular all the more important. Niel said he was also concerned by how protesters were charged as gang members when they were expressing their First Amendment rights.
“We need someone who is going to be responsible in that position to make sure that the right cases go to court and the cases that need to be dropped need to be dropped,” Niel said.
Niel said his voting experience was smooth this year and felt the Maricopa County recorder had done a good job in recent years whether they were Republican or Democrat. He voted in person because he likes it, not because of concerns about mail-in voting.
“I’ve felt like the people in charge of running elections have done, for a long while, a pretty good job of making sure that they’re done well.”
— Perry Vandell
Pinal County officials reported running out of ballots Tuesday at about 20 polling sites. They said the shortage was sparked by an "unprecedented demand for in-person ballots."
The county was resupplying polls, and officials said voters could cast ballots as long as they were in line by 7 p.m.
The ballot shortages follow other election woes in Pinal County, which sent out erroneous ballots to an estimated 63,000 voters last month. The county scrambled to come up with a solution to the problem, which it later scrapped when officials realized the plan had legal issues.
They eventually settled on a new plan that allowed affected voters to use their original ballots in unaffected races and cast a supplemental ballot in person or by mail for impacted municipal elections. Kathleen Winn, a Republican congressional candidate, filed a lawsuit against the county over the debacle, which she later withdrew.
— Sasha Hupka
Sabrina Flipse, a member of the Salt River Indian Community, said after she cast her vote at the Salt River Community Building in Scottsdale that what she is looking for in a candidate is someone who is grassroots and true to who they are.
“Some who are part of clean elections,” described Flipse of what she looks for in a candidate. “Where they don't take money for things they shouldn't. A lot of the candidates I voted for are new people.”
When it comes to the political climate in Arizona, Flipse said the state is obviously split. Originally from California, she said Arizonans think Californians are taking over and while she understands that sentiment she believes California is a progressive state that encourages diversification and acceptance of other cultures.
Flipse came out to vote just before 5 p.m. At that point of the day, Mark Estes, inspector of the voting process at the Salt River Community Building, said they had at least 130 actual voters and another 100 who dropped off mail-in ballots.
With Arizona elections making waves in the news lately, Estes said his staff is trained on how to handle the election process and how to deal with any people who might be difficult voters.
“You have people who give you their opinion,” said Estes. “But everyone has been pretty pleasant, actually. We get people who have bad days, but this is part of customer service and you just have to listen to them.”
Jan Ray, also a member of the Salt River Indian Community, said she’s been voting since she was 20 years old and now that she’s in her 60s she sees this process being just as important as it was 40 years ago.
“You can’t complain if you don’t vote,” Ray said.
— Arlyssa Becenti
Polls have closed for the Arizona primary election. Voters in line by 7 p.m. can still cast their votes.
The first results are expected to be available just after 8 p.m., with updates throughout the evening. The initial drop will include early ballots mostly cast in July, a sizable portion of the total results for Maricopa County. Election workers then expect to tally votes that were cast in person Tuesday and release those results over the evening.
Follow along here for live updates on key races, and see all results at election.azcentral.com.
Big races to watch include:
- Governor nominees on the Republican and Democratic side.
- GOP U.S. Senate nominee to take on Democrat Sen. Mark Kelly.
- Secretary of state nominees for both parties.
- State superintendent of public instruction.
- State Legislature races.
- Arizona attorney general GOP nominee to take on Democrat Kris Mayes.
- Maricopa County attorney nominees on the Republican and Democratic side.
- Congressional races.
- And more.
— Alison Steinbach
6:50 p.m.: Voter said primary felt more ‘controlled’ than 2020
When Melinda McMillen, 62, an educator, got out to vote at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Glendale, in Republican-learning Legislative District 27, she said that she saw a marked difference compared with the presidential election of 2020.
McMillen said this time around, things were a lot more "controlled.”
"At the presidential election, I brought my mail-in and told them I wanted to vote in public so they could compare my ID with my mail and they didn't want to look at any of it," McMillen said. This time, she was given a ballpoint pen, whereas last time, she said she got a marker.
McMillen said she voted for Kari Lake, like others at this center too.
"I've been here for seven years and I've watched her since I've been here and I think she's very upfront and she supports Donald Trump. So of course, I liked her political stand and I liked her for her history," McMillen said.
— Ananya Tiwari
Elections are stressful, what with all the glitches that happen in the course of voting, as well as the conspiracy theories that have become a standard part of election day.
To address that, the Arizona Secretary of State’s Office deemed Tuesday Election Therapy Day, along with all of the office’s normal duties overseeing elections.
Secretary of State Katie Hobbs brought in a miniature pony for the staff (perhaps a counter to the 2000 Mules?) as well as therapy dogs.
It was done in good humor and to buck up the troops for what may be a stressful day, if not a stressful week.
— Mary Jo Pitzl
Cynthia Emig, 60, arrived at Peoria City Hall in Legislative District 27 to drop off her ballot midafternoon on Tuesday. And though she, like Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake whom she voted for, questioned the integrity of the elections, she said that this time she is not as worried.
"At least this time I dropped off my ballot, I can track it. So, if I personally have a problem, then I can resolve it. So, I think that that's on those people, you know," the retiree from Glendale said. Lake has questioned the 2020 general election results.
Emig voted for Trump-endorsed Lake, though she doesn't dislike Mike Pence either, nor did any rivalry between Trump and Pence matter to her. Pence endorsed Karrin Taylor Robson as the Republican gubernatorial candidate.
"I did vote for her (Lake). One, because I am a Trump person. I think Kari seems very personable. She knows a lot about Arizona. I feel like she'd be a good governor," Emig said.
Emig said illegal immigration is a concern and that she supports a border wall, even though inflation and gas prices also were issues for her. "I want a wall. I want it secure. You should just be able to get here legally only," Emig said.
— Ananya Tiwari
Voters were seeing minimal to no wait times at most of the dozens of vote centers across Maricopa County as of shortly after 5 p.m. Tuesday, with a few exceptions.
The longest wait was at the Outlets at Anthem in Phoenix, where about 145 people were in line as of 5:30 p.m. The wait time was about 35 minutes.
The next longest was a 28 minute estimated wait to vote at Surprise City Hall, where about 120 voters were in line as of 5:35 p.m., according to Maricopa County officials. The Chandler Unified School District Office had 48 people in line with a 17 minute wait as of 5:30 p.m.
Some vote centers had waits under 10 minutes, and most had no lines as of about 5:15 p.m.
A list of all the vote centers and estimated wait times is here. Polls are open until 7 p.m.
— Alison Steinbach
The polling place at the Living Word Ahwatukee church saw people constantly arriving and leaving to cast their votes Tuesday.
Many were ready with ballots in hand, like Anna Johnson, 66, a retired executive who lives in Ahwatukee Foothills. She dropped off her ballot, although she said she hadn’t requested one because she likes to vote in person.
Johnson said she was thinking about state rights, border immigration and illegal immigration when she decided who to vote for. She also said some people have gone too far in questioning elections.
“I think they have gone overboard with all that integrity stuff. I think there’s always going to be a little bit of something, but I don’t think all elections are changed,” Johnson said.
Some candidates campaigned outside the polling place, including Patty Contreras, who is running for the state House of Representatives in District 12, and Kelly Cooper, who is running for the U.S. House in Arizona’s 4th Congressional District.
Contreras said some Republicans who were campaigning were handing out blue pens for people to vote with instead of the pens provided at polling locations. She said some people took them.
“I think it’s silly. It’s not really an issue, they are just making it into another issue saying that the elections aren’t free and fair,” Contreras said.
Cooper said he believes the pens were handed out so that when people mark their votes the ink doesn’t bleed through or smudge.
“So they want to use a ballpoint pen specifically so that you don’t have that issue. I don’t know, I didn’t experience it. I just know that’s why,” he said.
County elections officials have encouraged voters to use felt-tip pens provided at the polls because ballpoint pens don't always dry quickly and could gum up the election machines used to process ballots. That could cause delays while the machines are cleaned and the non-sanctioned ink dries.
— Angela Cordoba Perez
As high school athletes practiced on the fields downhill and band camp was underway elsewhere on campus, voters were casting their ballots inside Flagstaff High School.
Joanne Isaacs, 70, is a longtime resident of Flagstaff who cast her ballot Tuesday afternoon. Although her kids no longer attend school in town, Isaacs still felt it was important to vote for local and statewide candidates she supported.
“Nothing will get in my way to prevent the Republicans from getting a foothold anywhere where there are living and sentient human beings,” Isaacs said.
Some of the issues most important to her, such as universal health care and immigration, were not specifically on Tuesday’s ballot, but Isaacs still wanted to fulfill her civic duty.
“I just wanted to be a good citizen,” she said, and she’s ready to do it all over again a few months from now for the general election.
“They’ll be wheeling me here if they must,” she said.
At Flagstaff Mall, included in the stream of shoppers leaving Tuesday afternoon, were a handful of voters who cast their ballots at the site.
While some waited in line to vote in person, a handful of voters just stopped by to quickly to drop off their completed mail-in ballots, including Flagstaff resident Gerri Garcia.
“It’s just easier to research at home,” Garcia said. “I feel like you have more resources to look at things and research stuff at home.”
Like many Arizona voters, the issues at top of mind for Garcia include the economy and inflation.
“With the state of everything right now, our votes are important,” she said.
— Lacey Latch
About 70,000 Maricopa County residents had cast ballots in person on Tuesday as of 3:30 p.m., elections officials said. So far, Surprise City Hall has seen the highest turnout of the 200-plus voting locations across the metro Phoenix area.
The county estimates up to 150,000 voters could cast ballots at the polls on election day, not counting voters dropping off mail-in ballots.
— Sasha Hupka
Arizona voting centers are open until 7 p.m. Tuesday.
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 first batch of election results are expected to be available for Maricopa County shortly after 8 p.m., with updates planned throughout the evening.
— Sasha Hupka
Voting proceeded on a quiet, cloudy Tuesday afternoon outside the San Xavier District Center in south Tucson. Down the road, the white and tan San Xavier del Bac Mission overlooked the temporary voting center, where a pair of voters walked out of the building after voting in person.
One was Josh Rivera, 27, a county records specialist and Pima County voter.
"This election is important because I want my voice to be heard in my community," he said.
Key issues for Rivera are climate change, abortion and economic inequality. Rivera said he felt good about the integrity of the election and said it’s been thrown into doubt without good reason.
He worked as an election aid in the 2020 election and said he saw firsthand the process that goes into “making sure that every person is counted fairly and accurately.”
“Voting is one of the most important ways to make your voice heard,” he said.
— Sarah Lapidus
Gila River Indian Community’s District 7 Community Center had a slow trickle of voters, poll workers said Tuesday afternoon.
The area is a bucolic farm community watered by the nearby river. The community center is surrounded by verdant fields of what looks like alfalfa.
Denise Mills, Pee Posh and member of the Gila River Indian Community, said "everything is important but is hard to see who would do what." She's in her late 50s.
Jason Nicklin isn't a tribal member and lives next door in Laveen. "My daughter is ready to start school," he said, sporting a Rush T-shirt and a long gray ponytail. He wants his kids to attend a school that's well-funded and safe.
Nicklin said he doesn't want any "funny business" in voting like knocking people off the voting lists. "We need to go back to the Voting Rights Act," he said. "Clearly we're not past the need for that."
He also wants to make sure that the architects of the Jan. 6 insurrection do not get away with their actions. "That would set a bad precedent for both parties," he said.
— Debra Krol
Storm clouds started to roll in and the breeze picked up as afternoon voters arrived at First United Methodist Church near the University of Arizona campus in Tucson.
Cosmo Bursazappellini and Jennifer Abarca, both UA undergraduates, went to vote together and said they researched candidates' platforms in the car on the way over.
Issues they highlighted included abortion, gun control and immigration. They said they wanted candidates who would make change happen and be empathetic to constituents, as Abarca said politicians are in the “human business.”
Bursazappellini said one of his key issues is housing in Tucson and the way politicians treat homeless populations. "I'm always looking out to see, you know, who is going to prioritize safety and security for houseless people and who is going to demonize," he said.
For Abarca, candidates should “strive for change that is actionable, number one, but also systemic. It's not a Band-Aid solution. It's not something to just, you know, calm the people down and give them what they want, but also give us what we need."
Abarca said she looks for candidates who align with her core beliefs and pays special attention to women or Hispanic people because she prioritizes diversity in representation.
The polling place saw more young people, likely given its proximity to the university.
— Sam Leigh Burdette
Olivia Noguera, 47, a homemaker from Phoenix and a registered Independent, said that rising extremism in the Republican Party was concerning to her and pushed her to vote Democrat.
Independent voters had to choose a party ballot for this primary.
"I'm very worried for the Republican Party to get their way. A lot of things that I see that they're pushing toward, I don't like it. I'm trying to be against all the extremism,” she said.
Noguera voted at Sunrise United Methodist Church in Phoenix, in the highly competitive Legislative District 2. Despite the 100 degree heat, cars streamed into the parking lot and voters — young and old, and many women — headed into the hall to cast their ballots.
A mother of four girls, Noguera is also opposed to the "dangerous policy" of anti-abortion. "It's not anybody else's business," she said.
Climate change, inflation and liberal immigration policies also are priorities for her, and she added that currently inflation and real estate prices are impacting her family the most.
Noguera said she does not believe the electoral and voting systems are compromised.
"I have every faith that our rights are secure. I am more worried about the laws that are being put forward in many states now with trying to make it more and more difficult for people to get to the polls and cast their vote," she said.
— Ananya Tiwari
Elizabeth Bumb cast her vote at Orange Grove Mobile Estates Clubhouse on Tuesday afternoon. The polling place saw little traffic, with a few voters trickling in.
Bumb said her most important vote was for governor "because of what happened during COVID and the decisions that our governor made."
She said the key stance she looked for in candidates was a belief in smaller government.
Bumb said she hoped the election was secure, but didn’t know for sure. "I think there's more awareness of it, so that's good," she said.
The clubhouse polling place was northwest of Tucson, near Oro Valley, an area with more new development compared with Tucson’s core.
— Sam Leigh Burdette
Barbara Kemp voted in person Tuesday afternoon in Sun City West, but not by choice. She said she never received her mail-in ballot this year, despite signing up for one.
Kemp said she recently had to file an address change and was concerned when she received a booklet on how to vote but never got the ballot itself.
“It’s an inconvenience to not be able to vote by mail,” she said. “I want to make sure when November comes, I get my ballot in the mail because I’ll be working all that day and won’t be able to take time off to vote.”
— Endia Fontanez
In Pinal County, a voting site in Maricopa opened late after an inspector failed to report to work, county spokesperson James Daniels said. A different election worker opened the site at 43910 W. Meadowview Road at 9:40 a.m.
Daniels said it is unclear why the initial inspector didn't show up.
"They are concerned about the inspector because she is a seasoned Pinal County poll worker and very reliable," Daniels said.
— Sasha Hupka
At the Islamic Center of the North East Valley in Scottsdale, Julie Cieniawski, a retired Scottsdale middle school teacher and Scottsdale Unified School District Board President, cast her vote with one issue in mind — public education.
“I’m hoping to see us get out of the basement for state funding in education,” she said. “I’m hoping to see education removed as a political tool.”
She’s skeptical of some candidates who say they support education and researched candidates’ positions on her “number one interest” by looking not only at their platforms but also at their lived experiences.
“We’ve had people elected who say they support education, and really what they mean is they support privatization of education,” she said.
Cieniawski donned the gear of the Arizona Education Association, the labor union for public school employees across the state. The union has publicly endorsed a number of candidates, including Democratic gubernatorial candidate Katie Hobbs, Kathy Hoffman for reelection as the superintendent of public instruction, and Democratic candidate Kris Mayes for attorney general.
“I do not believe our schools should be profit points,” she said. “Expansion of vouchers leaves many students behind.”
At the Phoenix Art Museum, Helen Geddes voted in person at about 11:30 a.m. Tuesday.
She said she voted for candidates like Mark Finchem and Walt Blackman, who she hopes will “back the original U.S. Constitution because it’s perfect the way it is.”
Tuesday’s primary was her second time voting in her lifetime. She said she was spurred to action in November 2020, when she felt that the election was not conducted fairly.
“I feel like voting should be very simple, and should be competently handled,” Geddes said. “And it wasn’t in Maricopa County (in 2020).”
Since the 2020 election, Geddes has done a lot of research on the voting process. She said she is concerned that mail-in ballots interfere with the integrity of elections, “which was the tantamount reason why I came out here today.”
Geddes said she was pleased with her experience voting at the art museum and especially appreciated that she was required to show her identification before casting her ballot.
However, she is eager for the results to come out Tuesday night.
She also expressed concerns about some candidates not receiving equal opportunity in this election.
“Candidates should all be given equal air time, instead of some conservatives being blocked out,” Geddes said.
In south Phoenix, Jose Javier, 73, was at a polling location voting for the first time after he got his U.S. citizenship about three months ago. He said he was nervous because he wasn’t sure how to fill out the ballot.
When he was filling it, Javier said he realized he had marked the ballot in a place he didn’t have to and had heard in the news it would be invalid, so he asked for another one.
Javier said he received a lot of help at the polling location and as a Spanish-speaker only, language wasn’t a barrier.
“I had thought about not voting this time … but I decided to get over with it now that I have a free path to do it, and I voted for the first time,” he said.
For the next election, Javier said he feels more prepared and he is glad he participated in this one.
“I feel good, calm,” Javier added.
— Madeleine Parrish, Endia Fontanez and Angela Cordoba Perez
12:45 p.m.: Gilbert police to investigate after Councilmember September accused of removing opponents' signs
Gilbert police responded to a call Tuesday morning at the Southeast Regional Library voting center involving councilmember and 2022 candidate Scott September. He was accused by several witnesses of illegally pulling up political opponents’ campaign signs.
September was appointed to the Gilbert Town Council in 2020 and is seeking his first election to the seat. Two people who serve the Republican Party in Arizona’s 14th Legislative District witnessed the incident and reported it to the police.
Andrew Adams, the district party chairman, told The Republic he noticed extra campaign signs at his home on the morning of the primary and brought them to the library voting center. Adams was speaking with local electioneers when he said he turned around and saw September pulling the new signs out of the ground.
“I asked him why he was doing it,” Adams said. “And he said well, ‘These signs are lies. It’s just not true, so they don’t deserve to be here.’ And at that point, I walked up to him, and another guy I know who was working here walked up to him as well. He had the signs in his hand. He had them out for us and knew he was in the wrong so we took the signs back from him.”
The other witness, Richard Young, took photos of September and his license plate.
“Andrew told me, ‘Well this is Scott September, he’s on the City Council,'" Young said. "That made me alert immediately. A town councilman shouldn’t be pulling up political signs for anybody. I wouldn’t do it, and ordinary citizens shouldn’t do it. But it’s egregious for any politician to do it. Whether you like it or not, you leave it alone.”
Gilbert police spokesperson Brenda Carrasco released a statement, saying there’s an ongoing investigation and authorities are consulting with Maricopa County Recorder’s Office election officials. She added no arrests have been made.
The Republic reached out to September for comment but did not hear back.
— Gregory Svirnovskiy
At least two polling sites have seen voters steal pens, election officials say.
The thefts come after a baseless allegation about government-issued Sharpies spread during the 2020 election. The false claim that ballots cast by voters using the pen would be disqualified has been repeatedly debunked by election officials.
Nevertheless, at least one GOP candidate was encouraging voters to take pens. Gail Golec of Scottsdale, a Realtor running for county supervisor who has previously spread conspiracies about the 2020 election on social media, told her Twitter followers on Monday to “replace the Pentel with Blue ink pens” and “protect our vote.”
Polling sites are supplied with extra pens, according to Megan Gilbertson, spokesperson for the Maricopa County Elections Department.
Elections staff provide felt-tip markers for voters to use at the polls because they dry quickly. Officials say that's important because ballots cast in person on election day do not have a lot of time to dry before they are placed into tabulation machines. If the ink is wet when the ballot goes into the machine, it can gunk up the tabulator, forcing poll workers to clean it.
Officials have said that could create long lines at polling sites if enough people submit ballots with wet ink.
— Sasha Hupka
11:45 a.m.: Arizona primary election results expected at 8 p.m.
Arizona polls close at 7 p.m., and the first Arizona election results will be available just after 8 p.m. See all the latest numbers in major races across the state and in Maricopa and Pinal counties at election.azcentral.com.
The highest-profile GOP race so far has been for governor, which pits the Trump-backed former TV news anchor Kari Lake against businesswoman Karrin Taylor Robson, who has been endorsed by former Vice President Mike Pence. For the Democrats, outgoing Secretary of State Katie Hobbs is facing off against Marco López for governor.
The U.S. Senate GOP primary has been dominated in recent by Trump-endorsed Blake Masters, who is competing against former solar power executive Jim Lamon, Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich and two others. Masters is a protégé of tech investor Peter Thiel. The winner on Tuesday will face Democratic incumbent Mark Kelly in the November general election.
11:15 a.m.: Biggs casts vote; constituent questions him about 2020 election results
Just after 10 a.m., a crowd started to form in front of the Southeast Regional Library in Gilbert. U.S. Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Gilbert, was there to vote — and then to chat with passersby in the courtyard out front. Biggs, who has been in Congress since 2017, has been criticized for his support of President Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election and for continued false claims regarding election integrity.
Biggs, who reportedly requested a pardon from Trump in the aftermath of the failed insurrection, was leaving the library when he was stopped by Mark Masters, a Gilbert constituent and part-time writer. He pressed Biggs to confirm whether those reports were true.
“No,” the Congressman answered flatly, slowing his pace.
And Masters wanted to know if Biggs accepted the results of the 2020 election.
“He would not say that,” Masters said. “He asked me if I thought Trump won in 2016, and I said yes because I trust the election system. He apparently doesn’t because he’s not willing to say straight out loud that he thinks Joe Biden legitimately won the election in 2020.”
Masters had already turned in his filled-out ballot at a different location and was headed into the library to get a book. He had no advance knowledge that Biggs would be there.
“I didn’t even know they were voting here, much less that Andy would happen to be here the two minutes that I was here,” Masters said and then chuckled. “It was quite lucky. As far as I could tell, he’s not here that often. This was the one little chance I’ve ever had to actually speak to him in person. So I felt like I should take advantage of that.”
In Phoenix, Pete Wise, 70, a retired resident of the South Mountain area, said he decided to vote in person because he didn't trust to mail his ballot because of the last election.
"It was never really completely resolved. I don't think so, there's still a lot of questions about it, in my opinion," he said.
Wise said he doesn't know if he trusts the voting machines and believes people are going to try to skew the outcomes in this election.
Donald Trump's endorsements influenced Wise's voting decisions and he said the most important vote he cast was for governor.
"We want to go back to the right, more if possible. We got too many California fruit bats moving out here in order to destroy in Arizona," Wise said.
— Gregory Svirnovskiy and Angela Cordoba Perez
10:30 a.m.: Climate change, equity and civil rights issues take Valley Democrats to the polls
When it comes to the primaries at the top of a ballot, Republicans have a lot to choose from Tuesday. Big names are running for big tickets. From Blake Masters and Jim Lamon to Kari Lake and Karrin Taylor Robson, GOP voters have seen candidates battle it out for close to a year. Party hopefuls have spent big money, and bet big on political endorsements.
Democratic voters, especially in Gilbert, didn’t have a lot to choose from Tuesday, according to Sophak Lim, a data analyst who has called Arizona home since the 1980s. The exception is a David versus Goliath-like primary battle for the party’s gubernatorial nomination that pitted Secretary of State Katie Hobbs against former Nogales Mayor Marco Lopez.
Lim voted for Hobbs.
“I think she’s probably the most sane,” he said, in between nervous laughs.
Arizona Democrats, Lim said, have been pushed ever further to the right in a political spectrum dominated by powerful Conservative voices. The issues he cares about most, like affordable housing and equity, aren't being debated in the mainstream right now. So he's voting to stave off "a more restrictive state."
“I’m really worried,” Lim said. “A lot of the people who believe in the fake voting issues are coming to power. Politically, it's pretty horrible.”
At the Phoenix Union High School District office, Nick Shivka, 35, voted in person at about 8 a.m. Tuesday.
Election day is a big event for him. He said he chooses to vote in person in every election because he likes to feel like he is part of the process of making a change with other voters.
“Voting is really what little voice and power we have as citizens,” Shivka said. “It’s not actually little. We get to make decisions about who represents us.”
He said his biggest concerns this election year were climate change and its effect on local businesses. He hopes the new leaders elected in Arizona will address the water crisis.
“Climate change is impacting farms and the local businesses which give Arizona its character,” Shivka said.
He wants a candidate who will “ensure that this is a place we can stay.”
Shivka said he did not see many other voters at the district office location, but acknowledged that others might have chosen to mail in their ballots or drop them off early.
Closer to downtown Phoenix, Katherine Ricker and Kristen Whitney, both graduate students at ASU, voted Tuesday morning at the Phoenix Art Museum.
They both said they were excited to vote for candidates like Katie Hobbs and Brianna Westbrook, whom they feel stand for important issues such as stopping climate change, protecting LGBTQ rights and the Black Lives Matter movement.
“Civil rights are under attack,” Ricker said. “We want to reinforce the democracy we grew up with so others can continue to live in a functioning democracy.”
“And we want to improve that democracy to make it better for minorities,” Whitney added.
Hank Stephenson was working the polls and said that he had seen a steady stream of voters coming in to drop off ballots, but he had not yet seen more than three or four voting booths occupied at one time.
Legislative candidate Brianna Westbrook made an appearance earlier in the morning, Stephenson said.
— Gregory Svirnovskiy and Endia Fontanez
10:15 a.m.: Lake casts her vote in Paradise Valley
In what had otherwise been a mostly quiet morning at Paradise Valley Town Hall as Arizonans — many of whom had filled out their ballots beforehand — cast their votes, gubernatorial hopeful Kari Lake arrived 20 minutes before her scheduled 9 a.m. appearance while a group of just under a dozen, mostly younger, volunteers chanted her name.
As she made her way into the Town Hall post office to cast her vote, both her campaign volunteers and news media clogged up the driveway leading to the polling place, prompting a staffer to shout that they needed to respect the voters and get out of the middle of the street.
Lake repeated messages she's touted throughout her yearlong campaign — that the news is propaganda, that Joe Biden’s policies are destroying the country and “trying to get into children’s classrooms trying to destroy their minds,” and that she’s not going to “turn Arizona into California.” She called her campaign the biggest movement of young conservatives, saying they had years stolen from them due to pandemic lockdowns.
“We’re never gonna mask our children,” she said.
She was confident about the outcome of Tuesday's race, saying that her supporters are going to overwhelm the polls and inviting media to her planned victory speech in Scottsdale tonight.
— Madeleine Parrish
9:45 a.m.: Tucson voters head to polls focused on economy, women’s rights
The Udall Park polling station in Tucson serves the city’s east side, which locals know as a generally higher income and lower crime area of the city.
Most of those trickling in bright and early in the morning seemed to be retirees. About 20 to 30 people dropped off their ballots in the first hour of open polls at Udall.
Kenneth M. Fulcher, a Tucson Electric Power retiree, said the most important votes on this election’s ballot were for U.S. senator and governor. The main issue for him this election is the economy, he said.
"Nationally, right now, the liberals, the Democrats, pretty much as far as the economy goes, they have their way," Fulcher said. "And if there's a Republican Congress, they're going to be able to be more conservative with the economy."
When asked if he thought a Republican Congress would happen after this election, Fulcher said he did but chuckled and said he could be wrong.
Roughly 20 miles away, the Knights of Columbus polling location started picking up around 8 a.m. while some voters arrived on their bikes.
Annalisa Cordova, a self-employed medical contractor, was there with her young son, Sam. She said she needed to vote early because she had to drop Sam off at school.
She chose to drop off her mail-in ballot like she normally does every election. For her, the most important vote was the one she cast for Mark Kelly while the most important issue in her mind was “women’s rights, of course.”
"We need to have the House and the Senate full of Democrats. That way we can get Biden's agenda passed."
She also said there isn’t enough of a Democratic majority in Congress to get legislation passed but that if more Democrats get elected, she believes there could be a change following the election.
— Sam Leigh Burdette
Although there was no line at the polling location at Mountain Park Health Center in South Phoenix before 8 a.m., there was constant movement of voters. About five people who were campaigning were greeting those who arrived while holding their banners.
One of the voters who arrived was Jacqueline Graham, 41, who lives in South Phoenix. She said she was at the polling place early to avoid the lines. While voting, she said she had women’s rights in her mind.
“Right for our body, right to abortion, if that's what you want to do. Just keeping the rights that we've earned and not losing what we've already earned,” she said.
Graham said she has always believed in the integrity of the elections.
“I think it's stronger now because everybody was so upset last time, and I think they're still checking and trying to make sure that it goes correctly and smoothly and not unfairly tilted or anything.”
Still, she said she was a little nervous about people protesting and arguing about the outcomes, especially those in November.
In Gilbert, Linda Brauneis cast her vote after dropping off her adopted grandsons at the school bus stop. For her, a longtime resident of the state of Washington who moved to Arizona in May, voting is no spur-of-the-moment matter. She’s researched. Ahead of this primary, Brauneis canvassed new friends and neighbors, read stories in news outlets all over the state and had the ballot she dropped off Tuesday delivered to her early so she could take an in-depth look at individual races.
The former photojournalist and navy veteran calls herself a conservative, a constitutionalist who has studied the country’s founding documents and tries to vote for the Republicans she thinks are working to uphold them. Republicans only.
“I’m so disappointed with what the Democrats have done, the George Soros types,” she said. “I’m just really disappointed in this country. Our founding fathers are doing somersaults in their graves, seeing what their posterity has done.”
Brauneis said she moved to Arizona in part to care for and spend time with her grandsons.
“I’m trying to instill in my grandkids, the future of this country, the future of the church obviously, to know the truth. And the truth will set you free,” Brauneis said. “Don’t just take someone’s opinion. You investigate. You do your own homework, you do your own research. And I’m afraid that most Americans are lazy. Whatever they hear on the morning or evening news, ‘ok, that sounds good.’ They’re clueless.”
Brauneis has supported former President Donald Trump. But his endorsement of Kari Lake for Governor in Arizona didn’t stop her from casting a ballot in favor of opponent Karrin Taylor Robson, the GOP primary candidate who has risen in the polls by targeting establishment Republicans and courting the endorsements of Doug Ducey and Mike Pence. It comes down to trust, she said.
“I’m trying to find the candidates who will just not give empty rhetoric, but true sincere convictions,” Brauneis said. “Putting the people instead of their pocketbook first.”
— Angela Cordoba Perez and Gregory Svirnovskiy
Outside of Paradise Valley Town Hall, Jack Fink, a 20-year-old Kari Lake volunteer from Gilbert, showed up to vote at 7:30 a.m. wearing a Kari Lake shirt and hat. He traveled miles from Gilbert because the gubernatorial hopeful is set to speak at 9 a.m. at the Paradise Valley Town Hall.
“I’m really big on Kari’s border policy,” he said.
“I believe that we need someone with a fresher perspective,” he said. “One that won’t shut us down if there’s another pandemic, won’t shut our business down, won’t mask up our schools.”
Meanwhile, Gracie Muehling, from Scottsdale, and Mary Wagner, from Paradise Valley handed out brochures from Lake’s campaign to voters who haven’t made up their mind yet. They’re here to support the candidate’s 9 a.m. appearance.
Another two individuals who were campaigning for Matt Gress, a Republican candidate for Arizona State House, were asked by polling staff to take down the tent they set up, prompting them to move their table to a shaded area. Their tent was outside of the 75-foot circumference surrounding the polling place.
— Madeleine Parrish
There’s MAGA. Then there’s UltraMAGA. Then there’s Kevin Malnory in Mesa. The quality control inspector and his wife moved to Phoenix from Colorado because they thought the state was "turning into another California.”
He’s bought into baseless GOP claims of voter fraud and brought his own pen to the polling place.
"We’re definitely following elections here. Kari Lake for Governor. Blake Masters,” Malnory said. “They’re studs. And Finchem, that’s why I came here.”
This was Malnory’s first time voting in Arizona. He and his wife live just over a mile down the road from their polling place. They woke up at 4:45 a.m. to get there right as it opened before the sun was all the way up — the sky still in hues of pink and purple.
For Malnory, casting his Republican primary ballot for "America Firsters" like Lake and Masters was an open and shut case. Former President Donald Trump endorsed them.
He said he thinks their opponents, establishment Republicans like Karrin Taylor Robson, are fake. The fact that Robson was endorsed by former Vice President Mike Pence in the run-up to primary day is even more of a turnoff, he said.
“The conviction is, it’s America first, without question,” Malnory said. Everything he’s done, it’s for America. Compared to what’s happening now. There’s nothing that they do, the politicians. The Democrats, they’re Communists in my opinion. They know what they are. They don’t hide it. The ones that I’m pissed at is the RINOs. Because they’re fake. And we’ve got too many RINOs in this country.”
Tempe resident Jerry McPherson, 41, who works as the director of economic empowerment at Greater Phoenix Urban League cast his vote at a South Phoenix polling place.
He said that while deciding his vote he was thinking primarily about the women's right to choose and added that he also took his time researching the safeguards that are in place to ensure that every vote is counted.
"I have the utmost confidence that every valid ballot that gets submitted is counted," he said
"The outcome of this election is going to impact the lives of my offspring that aren't even alive yet. So, I just think it's important that we all just kind of be mindful of that and stay engaged and all do our part," McPherson said. "Even if you walk into the ballot box and only circle one bubble, (if) that's what you feel passionate about, then do that."
— Gregory Svirnovskiy and Angela Cordoba Perez
Kevin McKenna, a resident of Sun City West, dropped off his mail-in ballot at the R. H. Johnson Recreation Center in the Northwest Valley at 6 a.m.
He said he’s been voting in every election since he was 18.
“To make changes in our country, you’ve got to be involved,” McKenna said.
McKenna usually sends his ballot in the mail but said he simply missed the mail-in deadline this year. He was not worried about the integrity of mail-in voting.
“There’s been a lot of division in the country, a lot of hyperbole,” McKenna said. “No matter what party you’re involved with or what candidate you like, just vote for the best person.”
On the other side of the Valley, in Paradise Valley, Yared Mulat voted for the first time since he received his citizenship five months ago. He’s a ride-share driver.
“Nowadays, people can’t live peacefully,” he said. “I want to protect my kids from gun violence.” Mulat has three kids, ages 5, 11 and 14. “The economy issue is also a big issue for me,” he said. “I buy one loaf of bread for $6.99, I can’t afford it.”
Mulat said he used to support Democrats, but now he’s switched to supporting Republicans. “If Trump is here, he might uplift the economy,” he said.
— Endia Fontanez and Madeleine Parrish
Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone expects to have a more robust law enforcement presence than usual on election day, but many will be plainclothes deputies watching for any issues that could interfere with the right to vote peacefully.
“If you're at a polling place, you can pretty much work under the premise that there's a plainclothes deputy not too far away keeping an eye on things, so you can come and feel safe,” he said.
The move comes after tensions following the 2020 election and not because of any specific threat.
— Sasha Hupka
Registered Democrats and Republicans will get their party's ballot when they go to the polls.
Independent voters will need to choose which party's ballot they want, or opt for one with only the nonpartisan local races.
— Sasha Hupka
6 a.m.: Polls open for Arizona primary
In Maricopa County, voters can cast their ballots at any one of the more than 200 voting centers, from Happy Trails Resort in Surprise to Freestone Rec Center in Gilbert.
The county isn’t using assigned polling sites, so voters can choose the one that’s most convenient. See the full list on the county's website.
Just need to drop off your early ballot? You can do that at the voting centers.
Arizona polling places opened at 6 a.m. and will close at 7 p.m.
— Sasha Hupka
Headed to the polls? Where to vote and other need-to-know election info
National races: Here are the Arizona candidates running for election to US Senate and House of Representatives
State races: What's on your August 2022 primary ballot for Arizona?
Border, elections, abortion: Here's what Arizona's governor candidates have to say
City races: Here’s who wants to be your next city council member in metro Phoenix
Election deniers: These Arizona candidates still say Donald Trump won in 2020