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High Voter Turnout Expected on Navajo Nation and on the NAU Campus

Ryan Heinsius

Tomorrow, Arizonans will head to the polls to vote for a variety of local, state and national offices along with several ballot propositions. As Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports, local election officials are expecting a high turnout on the Navajo Nation and among students.

For the first time, this year’s Navajo Nation tribal elections were held to coincide with county and statewide voting. Coconino County recorder Patty Hansen says as a result, there’s been a significant boost in turnout there over previous years.

“We’re seeing a lot of people that are voting early in person at our Tuba City office, which we’ve never seen before. In the primary of this year we had a higher turnout on reservation precincts than we did off the reservation,” Hansen says.

Hansen also says voter registration among Northern Arizona University students who live on campus surged from about 450 in August to 2,000 in October. In Coconino County, about 70,000 people are registered to vote. And on average, a little over half typically end up voting. Hansen says voter turnout in the county is usually among the highest in the state. But, based on early ballot returns so far, she’s expecting fairly average total participation in Tuesday’s election.

“Right now, I’d be saying that it’s looking like between 50 and 55 percent turnout. I would love it if they proved me wrong and turned out in much greater numbers,” Hansen says.

A list of polling places can be found on the Coconino County website. Early ballots can be dropped off the county recorder’s office or at any polling place on election day.

Ryan joined KNAU's newsroom in 2013. He covers a broad range of stories from local, state and tribal politics to education, economy, energy and public lands issues, and frequently interviews internationally known and regional musicians. Ryan is an Edward R. Murrow Award winner and a frequent contributor to NPR.
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