Fifty-sixth Legislature

Second Regular Session


SB 1286: elections; voting centers; polling places

Sponsor: Senator Hoffman, LD 15

Committee on Municipal Oversight & Elections


Requires certain public offices, including public schools with gymnasiums, to serve as polling places when requested to do so by the officer in charge of elections.


Public Schools as Polling Places

Public schools are required to serve as polling places when requested to do so by the officer in charge of elections unless the principal provides a written statement indicating a reason the election cannot be held in the school.  Specifically, public schools are exempt from serving as polling places if sufficient space is not available or if doing so would jeopardize the safety or welfare of the children (A.R.S. § 16-411).

Designation of Voting Centers

The Legislature authorized the use of voting centers in lieu of or in addition to specifically designated polling places in 2011. Polling places are specifically designated locations where voters in a particular precinct must vote.  Voting centers are locations within a county where registered voters may vote regardless of which precinct the individual lives in. The Board of Supervisors may establish polling places, voting centers or any combination of the two, including co-location of precinct-based polling places or voting centers that also serve as polling places for specific precincts (A.R.S. § 16-411).

Voting for Employees

A person can absent themselves from work for the purposes of voting if there are less than three consecutive hours between the opening of the polls and the beginning of their regular workshift or between the end of their regular workshift and the closing of the polls. A person must notify the employer of such absence before Election day and the employer may specify the hours during which the employee may be absent (A.R.S. § 16-402).


School Holidays

1.   ☐ Prop 105 (45 votes)	     ☐ Prop 108 (40 votes)      ☐ Emergency (40 votes)	☐ Fiscal NoteRequires a school operated by a school district to close on every regular primary and general election day. (Sec. 1)

2.   Establishes that teachers and staff must receive or conduct in-service training or development training on the listed election days and receive compensation. (Sec. 1)

3.   Prohibits teachers and staff from using personal, vacation or other leave time during the listed election days. (Sec. 1)

4.   Clarifies that employees are allowed to take time off to vote in the listed elections. (Sec. 1)

Public Offices & Schools as Polling Places

5.   Requires a state, county, municipality or school district office, upon an officer in charge of elections' request, to provide sufficient space for a polling place for specified elections. (Sec. 2)

6.   States that a district school with a gymnasium will provide sufficient space for a polling place. (Sec. 2)

7.   Exempts a public school from any state, local or school district requirements that would prevent the school from serving as a polling place. (Sec. 2)

8.   Removes the ability of a school principal to deny a request to use the school as a polling place. (Sec. 2)

Designation of Voting Locations

9.   Specifies that a voting center is a location at which a voter who is a registered voter and resident anywhere in the county is allowed to receive the appropriate ballot for that specific voter. (Sec. 2)

10.  Modifies the authorized use of voting centers to specify voting centers may only be established in addition to specifically designated polling places. (Sec. 2)


11.  Defines gymnasium. (Sec. 2)

12.  Makes technical and conforming changes. (Sec. 1-3)



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16.                    SB 1286

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