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Democratic turnout light but steady for today's election

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Posted at 2:36 PM, Mar 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-17 17:41:56-04

In the midst of the worst health crisis facing the country in memory, Arizona Democrats are slowly, but steadily making their way to the polls to decide if Joe Biden or Bernie Sanders will be their nominee to take on President Donald Trump.

As of 1:45PM, 22,137 ballots had been cast at the 151 vote centers across Maricopa County. That number does not include voters that dropped off their early ballot at a polling place.

At that rate, it’s expected that just under 40,000 Maricopa County Democrats will cast a ballot by the time polls close at 7 p.m. Over 480,000 Democrats have already cast a ballot using Arizona’s extensive early ballot system.

Trendlines are pointing to a statewide turnout of around 600,000. If that holds, Tuesday’s election will see the highest number of Democrats ever participate in a Presidential Preference Election. However, much of this rise is attributed to Arizona’s explosive growth over the last 10 years. In terms of turnout as a percentage, Tuesday's election is shaping up to be at nearly the exact same levels as both 2008 and 2016.

WHAT TO EXPECT TONIGHT:

Polls close across the state at 7 p.m. Results will not be posted until an hour later. The first results will come from early voters, and will make up the bulk of what we will expect to see. After the initial posting of election results, counties will then begin collecting polling place votes for tabulation, which will occur in the hours following 8 p.m. Counties are expected to finish tabulating all election day votes this evening.

The final numbers will not yet be available however, since counties will then begin the process of verifying early ballots that were dropped off at polling places, a process that normally takes some time in Arizona.

To follow along with election results, go here.