Voter Registration
Information on this page refers to the Nutrition Assistance programInformation on this page refers to the Cash Assistance program
Under the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) of 1993, the Department of Economic Security (DES) is a designated voter registration agency. The DES Division of Benefits and Medical Eligibility (DBME) has the responsibility to administer public assistance benefits for DES; therefore, is required to fulfill all duties of a designated voter registration agency.
Policy
FAA’s General Duties Under the NVRA
As a designated voter registration agency, FAA staff (which includes contractors) must offer customers the opportunity to register to vote every time staff help a customer with any of the following three types of transaction:
When a customer applies for benefits or services.
When a customer renews or recertifies benefits or services.
When a customer reports a change of address.
FAA staff must provide customers the same level of assistance with registering to vote as with any other form or service. As with any other transaction, customers can receive free language assistance through FAA’s language assistance system. (See Foreign Language Interpreters)
All FAA locations must provide the Arizona Voter Registration (DES-1232A) form. FAA provides only printed voter registration forms, not photocopies. The Arizona voter registration form has an identifying code S 00 A. This code tells County Recorders and the Arizona Secretary of State that the form originated from an FAA location.
All FAA locations must accept voter registration forms, including both the state and federal versions. At the end of each workday, FAA staff must mail all voter registration forms received at an FAA location to the appropriate County Recorder’s office. The appropriate County Recorder’s office is based on the county in which a customer’s residential address is located, use the Arizona Secretary of State’s County Election Contacts web page to find the correct County Recorder’s office to mail a voter registration.
FAA staff help customers in-person and remotely. Remote transactions include over the telephone and through the Health-E-Arizona Plus (HEAplus) portal.
Prohibited Behavior
FAA staff must never influence or attempt to influence any customer’s political preference or party registration. This includes but is not limited to the following:
Saying anything or taking actions to discourage a customer from registering to vote.
Saying anything or taking actions to lead a customer to believe that registering or not registering to vote impacts benefits eligibility or the availability of services.
Saying anything or taking actions that could be interpreted as approving or disapproving of a person’s political party or preference.
FAA staff must not wear or display any material at an FAA office that:
Identifies past, present, or future candidates of partisan elective office.
Contains logos or other graphics that identify a political party or preference.
Could reasonably be associated with a political party or preference.
Identifies a political issue or ballot measure.
NVRA Required Knowledge by FAA Staff: Voting Eligibility, Proof of Citizenship, and Transmitting the Voter Registration Forms
All FAA staff must complete NVRA training immediately upon employment in a position that helps customers apply for benefits, renew or recertify benefits, or submit a change of address. These types of actions are known as covered transactions. During these types of interactions with customers, FAA staff will have the knowledge and skills to carry out the duties required of a voter registration agency.
Staff will explain the following information to customers during each covered transaction:
For an individual to be eligible to vote, that person must meet the following criteria:
*Be a U.S. citizen;
*Reside in Arizona and the county that the customer writes on the voter registration form; and
*Be at least 18 years of age or older by the next regular General Election.
U.S. citizenship may be proved by either of the following methods:
*First method: If the customer has an Arizona driver’s license or non-operating identification card issued after October 1, 1996, and the customer was a citizen at the time that the license was issued. The customer can write the license or card number in Box 9 of the Arizona voter registration form.
*Second method: Attach a legible photocopy of any of the following to the voter registration form:
A birth certificate. If the name on the birth certificate is not the same as the customer’s current legal name, more than one document may be needed to prove the name change.
The pages of the U.S. Passport with the customer’s name and passport number.
U.S. naturalization documents, or the customer’s Alien Registration Number assigned before naturalization.
An Indian Census Number, Bureau of Indian Affairs Card Number, Tribal Treaty Card Number, or Tribal Enrollment Number.
A Tribal Certificate of Indian Blood or Tribal or Bureau of Indian Affairs Affidavit of Birth.
A completed voter registration form can be mailed or delivered to any of the following places:
*The County Recorder’s office in the county in which the customer lives;
*Any DES office; or
*Any AHCCCS office.
The Arizona Secretary of State offers assistance with voter registration and information on upcoming election deadlines at the following numbers:
*(602) 542-8683
*(877) 843-8683, toll-free in Arizona
*Monday – Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
In-Person Transactions: Assisting Customers
When FAA staff help a customer in-person to apply for benefits, renew or recertify benefits, or report a change of address, FAA staff must do the following:
Give the customer a Voter Preference Question (DES-1231A) form;
Offer to assist the customer with completing the Voter Registration (DES-1232A) form; and
Assist the customer if they accept assistance.
Assistance includes, but is not limited to, the following:
Copying and attaching a proof of citizenship document;
*When a customer does not have proof of U.S. citizenship, check the customer’s case file for a document that meets the valid proof of citizenship. If the required proof is available in the customer’s case file, offer to make a copy for the customer to attach to the Voter Registration (DES-1232A) form.
*When proof of U.S. citizenship is not available, inform the customer that proof of U.S. citizenship is required to vote in an Arizona election for state and local offices. Until proof of U.S. citizenship is provided to the County Recorder’s office, the customer can vote only in federal elections. Tell the customer FAA will still send the voter registration form to the appropriate County Recorder’s office, but it may delay their registration to vote.
Answering questions on how to complete a voter registration form; and
Help filling out the voter registration form.
NOTE When FAA staff fill in any part of a voter registration form for a customer, staff must sign and date Box 24 on the Voter Registration (DES-1232A) form.
Reviewing the voter registration form and notifying the customer if any of the required questions (indicated by an asterisk/star or red shaded line number) have not been completed, if the form has not been filled in using blue or black ink, or if the customer forgot to sign the form.
NOTE If FAA staff identify an issue with a voter registration form and a customer chooses not to fix the problem on the voter registration form, FAA staff must still accept the voter registration form and send it to the appropriate County Recorder’s office.
The Voter Preference Question (DES-1231A) form asks whether the customer would like to register to vote. The customer can check the “Yes” box, the “No” box, or neither box. FAA staff must respond as follows:
If the customer checks “Yes,” provide the customer with an Arizona Voter Registration (DES-1232A) form;
If the customer checks “No,” the voter registration process is complete; or
If a customer declines to accept the DES-1231A form or chooses to skip the question, offer the customer an Arizona Voter Registration (DES-1232A) form.
When a customer does not want to fill out or sign the Voter Preference Question (DES-1231A) form, FAA staff must initial the signature line. Staff should not write anything else, such as case numbers or names, on the DES-1231A form.
The Voter Preference Question (FAA-1231A) form must be kept separate from the customer’s benefits paperwork. The FAA-1231A must be placed in the office’s designated location for collection.
Customers may also take the Arizona Voter Registration (DES-1232A) form with them to fill out at a time and location of their choosing. Customers may then:
Mail the completed DES-1232A form to the County Recorder’s office in the county where the customer lives;
Submit the completed voter DES-1232A form in-person to the County Recorder’s office; or
Submit the DES-1232A form in-person at any DES or AHCCCS office.
All FAA public locations must display the appropriate Register to Vote Here poster. Posters are available in three different versions which include English/Spanish/Navajo, English/Spanish/Apache and English/Spanish. As with any other transaction, customers can receive free language assistance through FAA’s language assistance system.
For Voter Registration Assistance posters requirements, see Posters in the Lobby
For Language Assistance, see Interpreter or Translator Needed-Overview
In-Person Transactions: Processing the Forms
At the end of each workday, designated FAA staff in each local office collects all Voter Registration (DES-1232A) forms and mails them to the appropriate County Recorder’s office.
The designated FAA Staff must look up the appropriate County Recorder’s office address based on the customer’s residential address on the back of the Arizona voter’s registration form. See the Arizona Secretary of State’s County Election Contacts web page for County Recorder offices.
Staff must mail all voter registration forms received at an FAA office to the appropriate County Recorder’s office, regardless of the following:
The customer’s age;
The customer’s citizenship status;
The answers provided on the voter registration form;
The color of ink used to complete the form; and
Whether any fields were left blank or incomplete.
County Recorders, not FAA staff, decide whether a person is eligible to vote. Voter registration forms must never be destroyed. All voter registration forms must be sent to the appropriate County Recorder’s office at the end of each workday.
At the end of each workday, a designated staff in each local office must collect all the Voter Preference Question forms (DES-1231A). These forms are counted and batched using the Voter Preference Batch Transmittal (DES-1230A) form. The DES-1230A form is photocopied. The Voter Preference Question forms (DES-1231A) and the copy of the DES-1230A form are placed in a banker’s box. Once the banker’s box is full, it is sent to the DES Records Center. The original of the completed DES-1230A form will be retained in the office for two years.
Remote Transactions
FAA must also comply with applicable voter registration duties under NVRA with remote transactions. Remote covered transactions occur when customers use the HEAplus portal or call the customer care centers to complete any of these types of transactions:
Apply for benefits
Renew or recertify for benefits or services, or
Submit a change of address
Any time FAA provides an Arizona Voter Registration form to a customer in connection with a remote transaction, FAA includes an explanatory cover letter. Together, the voter registration form and explanatory letter are called a “Voter Registration Packet.”
The explanatory cover letter tells customers the following:
Why they have received a voter registration form;
Where to mail or deliver the completed voter registration form;
How to register to vote online;
What phone number they can call for assistance with registering to vote;
The availability to take the voter registration form to any DES or AHCCCS office for help or to have it mailed to the appropriate County Recorder’s office;
Applying or not applying to register to vote will not have an effect on their application or benefits.
Remote Transactions by HEAplus
When a customer uses HEAplus, the system has pages in the application with questions that ask the customer if they would like to register to vote. The customer can choose “Yes,” “No,” or simply skip the question. The HEAplus system responds based on how the customer answers the voter registration question, in the following:
If the customer selects “Yes,” HEAplus automatically sends a Voter Registration Packet.
If the customer responds “No,” HEAplus does not ask any further questions about voter registration.
If a customer chooses to skip the question, HEAplus automatically sends a Voter Registration Packet using the same format by which the customer receives other HEAplus letters. HEAplus will continue to navigate through the voter registration screens.
A customer who applies for benefits, renews benefits, or changes address via HEAplus may choose to receive a Voter Registration Packet by the following methods:
Online using Service Arizona, via a link provided within HEAplus or, if the customer prefers, sent through text message or email;
Via the same method that they receive other HEAplus communications; or
Through the United States Postal Service.
Remote Transactions by Telephone
FAA staff use HEAplus when helping customers over the phone apply for benefits, renew or recertify benefits, or submit a change of address.
When the FAA staff are helping the customer, they are data entering the information in HEAplus and the customer will not see the HEAplus screens, staff must verbally tell the customer the following information when reaching the HEAplus voter preference question screen:
The voter registration process is separate from the program eligibility process;
An interview is not necessary to register to vote;
The customer’s decision about whether to register to vote does not affect the availability of services or benefit amounts;
Voter registration information is confidential and used only for voter registration purposes; and
Complaints can be registered with the Arizona Secretary of State.
The customer’s voter registration rights include the following:
*The right to register to vote;
*The right to decline to register to vote;
*The right to privacy in deciding whether to register or in applying to register to vote; and
*The right to choose their own political party or other political preference.
Just as if the customers were receiving help in person or using HEAplus on their own, FAA staff helping customers over the phone must ask customers if they want to register to vote. When customers conduct covered transactions over the phone, FAA staff must provide the same voter registration services as provided when customers are conducting in-person covered transactions. Staff must respond in the same ways:
If the customer says “Yes,” FAA staff enter this option and HEAplus automatically sends a Voter Registration Packet.
If the customer responds “No,” FAA staff enter this option and do not ask any further questions about voter registration.
If a customer chooses not to respond, FAA staff can move to the next screen in HEAplus, and HEAplus automatically sends a Voter Registration Packet using the same format by which the customer receives other HEAplus letters.
Customers have the same methods for receiving a Voter Registration Packet when talking to FAA staff over the phone as when using HEAplus themselves over the internet:
Online using Service Arizona, via a link provided by HEAplus. If the customer prefers this link can be sent to them through a text message or an email;
Via the same method that they receive other HEAplus communications; or
Through the United States Postal Service.
Legal Authorities
National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) of 1993
Prior Policy
last revised 09/30/2021 effective 10/01/2021