Early voting in Arizona begins Wednesday

Early voting begins today and a big turnout is expected.

PHOENIX - Early voting begins Wednesday in Arizona, including at 16 early polling locations in Maricopa County.

By Wednesday afternoon, the Maricopa County Recorder's office said there had been more than 500 people physically coming to early voting polling places across the county. That's more than they thought there would be, they said. 

However, County Recorder Helen Purcell said she expected a large turnout because of the presidential election and because of people wanting to avoid the massive lines that some voters waited hours in last March.

"I'm sure there's some of that," Purcell said. "I think everybody said at the time, if you voted early you didn't need to do this (wait in line)."

Arizona is a battleground state for early voting. A full third of registered voters are Independents, which are also a quickly-growing voting bloc. More than 51,000 people registered to vote as Independents in one week in Arizona. 

If Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump can pull them to their side, they could win Arizona. 

Next Wednesday, Oct. 18, the number of voting locations in the county will increase to 25.

Mail-in ballots are being mailed out and will begin being delivered by mail Wednesday. As soon as voters receive their ballots, they can make decisions and send their ballots in to cast their votes.

According to the Associated Press, about 2.3 million early ballots are going out. Arizona has more than 3.5 million registered voters.

RELATED: A look at some of the top races in Arizona

Maricopa County voters need an ID card and can go to any of the locations. Visit the Arizona Secretary of State's website for information on what type of identification is sufficient.

On election day (Tuesday, Nov. 8), voters must go to their specific precinct locations.

For a list of times and early voting polling places in Maricopa County, visit maricopa.vote. Most locations open at 8 a.m.

There are also locations for early voters to drop off ballots they've filled out rather than using voting machines. Those can also be found through the Maricopa County Recorder's Office.

Copyright 2016 KPNX


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