What is a presidential preference election? Everything Arizona voters need to know

A busy election year is here. It starts with the March 19 presidential preference election, followed by the Aug. 6 primary, and then the Big One: the Nov. 7 presidential election.

On that day, voters all over the country will be ponying up to the polls to fill in the bubble of the candidates they want most. This year, the presidency is on the line.

But first comes the preference election. This election, also referred to as the primaries, isn’t the same date in every state. Republican voters in New Hampshire and Iowa have already decided that former President Donald Trump is their pick to represent their party. Democrats in Iowa vote on March 5.

In Arizona, only Democrats and Republicans can vote on Tuesday, March 19 for which candidate they want to put forward into the big fight come November. Independent voters are out of luck for the preference election.

But how does all of this work? Who gets a say and why does it matter?

This week on The Gaggle, a politics podcast by The Arizona Republic and azcentral.com, hosts Mary Jo Pitzl and Sasha Hupka kick off a new series called Elections Dissection. Each month this year, they’ll be breaking down a new elections process so you understand how voting in Arizona works.

In this episode, Mary Jo and Sasha talk with the man who brought preference elections to Arizona, a politician whose career was defined by a botched preference election, and an active county recorder who is working to avoid confusion at the polls.

Listen to the episode

The best way to listen is to subscribe to The Gaggle on your favorite podcast app, but you also can stream the full episode below.

Note: The Gaggle is intended to be heard. But we also offer an AI transcript of the episode script. There may be slight deviations from the podcast audio.

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This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: What is a preference election and why does Arizona have one?

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