Election voting booths

APACHE AND NAVAJO COUNTIES — Voters went to the polls in Arizona’s Presidential Preference Election (PPE) on Tuesday, and unofficial results show former Vice President Joe Biden won both counties. The Arizona Republican Party chose not to participate in the PPE, they support President Trump as their candidate.

In Navajo County, Biden received 2,947 votes to Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) 2,176. Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who dropped out before Arizona’s election, received 813 votes, coming in third. The total voter turnout in the county was 27 percent of registered voters.

In Apache County, Biden won at 2,482 votes to Sanders’ 2,063. Bloomberg took third place with 391. Voter turnout there was 20 percent of registered voters.

The national press dubbed Tuesday’s election as Super Tuesday III, but according to The New York Times, five states cancelled or postponed their Democrat primaries to comply with the recent guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control about avoiding gatherings of people during the COVID-19 outbreak. Of the three states voting on Tuesday, (Arizona, Illinois and Florida) Biden won all three, but his margin of victory in Arizona against Sanders was the lowest of the three.

Another issue poll watchers were concerned with was how the counties fared in complying with a legal settlement of a lawsuit brought by The Navajo Nation against Apache and Navajo counties in 2018. In that case, plaintiffs were concerned that cultural and geographic issues had in the past impaired Nation members from fully participating in voting. As part of the settlement both counties agreed to have more early voting locations on the Navajo Nation.

A review of the counties’ available polling places shows many on the Navajo, Hopi and White Mountain Apache reservations. In Apache County, the Polling Master List says a total of 41 polling places were available including in Tachee, Teec Nos Pos, Wide Ruins, Many Farms, Rough Rock, Fort Defiance and Nazlini, including others.

Navajo County lists early polling places in Kayenta, Pinon, Dilkon, Cibecue, Whiteriver and at the Hopi Elections Office.

Early voting is popular. In Navajo county, of the 6,907 votes cast, 4,301 were early ballots, or 62 percent. In Apache Counthy, the early voting accounted for 52 percent of all ballots cast.

Election results remain unofficial until certified by each county’s board of canvass and the board of supervisors.

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