Take Action for Education this Election Season
Contributed by Education Forward Arizona
As we head into election season, candidates are talking about a lot of different issues, but a recent poll conducted by Education Forward Arizona found a disconnect between what voters want to prioritize and what candidates often talk about.
Education is a top priority for Arizona voters but some of the education issues making news aren’t top of mind for voters. The poll showed that Arizona voters do not actually prioritize national political education issues, like banning critical race theory or limiting discussions of gender identity, but instead want to ensure that every school has great teachers and leaders, teacher pay is raised, and school funding is improved.
Arizonans also prioritize things like students reading proficiently by the end of third grade, being proficient in math, both of which are indicators in the state’s Arizona Education Progress Meter. Additionally, voters prioritize increasing more opportunities for Career and Technical Education.
The issues that candidates talk about are important and should include the priorities that voters care about most and their solutions to address each issue. Even if they do not talk about the issues, as a voter, you can ask them questions about these issues and listen for their responses.
Asking Candidates About the Issues that Matter
Education Forward Arizona has a set of sample questions you can ask your candidates and an easy-to-use tool that will help you find your candidates’ contact information. Asking your candidates these questions is as simple as sending an email or tweet. You can find these questions online at EducationForwardArizona.org/vote.
The Citizens Clean Elections Commission also allows voters to submit questions for the debates they are holding for a number of different races, including the Governor’s and Superintendent of Public Instruction’s races. Visit azcleanelections.gov to learn more.
Get Prepared for the Election Season
If you have moved, changed your name, or your party affiliation since the last election, it’s time to update your voter registration online at ServiceArizona.com. It is also a good idea to look up your current voter registration information on that same site to make sure it is correct.
You can use ServiceArizona.com to register to vote, or to join the Active Early Voting List, which allows a voter to automatically receive a ballot by mail. Just remember, the deadline to register to vote in the Primary is July 5.
Look Up Your Candidates
Did you know that Arizona’s legislative and Congressional district maps have been redrawn? You may have a new legislative or congressional district, which means you may have different representatives than before.
Visit EducationForwardArizona.org/vote to use our tool to find your elected officials and to see who is running for each office.
Plan to Vote in the Primary
Arizona’s Primary Election will be held on August 2. In many cases, the Primary Election is more important than the General Election as many races are decided during the Primary.
The Primary will narrow the field of candidates or determine the nominees for political parties for the General Election this November. In Arizona, a voter must generally be registered as a party member in order to participate in that party’s primary, but Independent voters can still vote in the Primary Election.
If you are an Independent voter on the Active Early Voting List, make sure to contact your County Recorder’s Office to specify which political party ballot you would like to receive. Or on Election Day, simply request the ballot you want from a poll worker at your polling place.
Looking for ways to do more? Consider joining an advocacy group to learn how you can make an impact this election season.
The Education Forward Advocates Network is a coordinated, network of business, education and community leaders as well as parents, teachers, and voters working together to champion education, act and amplify their impact for all of Arizona’s students. Visit EducationForwardArizona.org to learn more.
ABOUT EDUCATION FORWARD ARIZONA:
Education Forward Arizona champions P-20 education attainment as critical to advancing the state’s economy and improving the quality of life of its residents. We do this by advocating for solutions, implementing innovative programs and services, and using our voice to drive progress towards the goals in the Arizona Education Progress Meter. Learn more at EducationForwardArizona.org.