Defining Residency for Arizona Candidates

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Candidates hoping to be on an Arizona electoral ballot must meet several qualifications. While voters will ultimately decide whether a candidate is the best fit for a position based on their past experiences and campaign promises, there is one qualification that some voters may not consider — residency.

Statewide Races

For statewide candidates, the residency requirement differs from position to position. For example, those running for Congress must be a resident of the state when they are elected, but gubernatorial candidates must have lived in the state for at least five years. The five-year rule also applies to those running for secretary of state, state treasurer, attorney general, and superintendent of public instruction.

Some legislative offices require a state residency requirement and county residency requirements as well. This includes those running for state senator and state representative.

Local Races

Individuals running for local positions, such as mayor and city council, have different rules to abide by when it comes to residency requirements. The residency rules for local races are outlined in Arizona Revised Statutes (A.R.S.) § 9-232. This law, in part, states:

“A person shall not be a member of a city or town council unless, at the time of the election, the person is eighteen years old, is a qualified elector residing within the city or town and has resided in the city or town for at least one year next preceding the election, or if an area has been annexed to the city or town for a period of less than one year next preceding the election has resided in such area for at least one year next preceding the election. If an annexed area is subject to the provisions of this subsection, a person may meet the residency requirements if the person has resided within the existing limits of the city or town for the one-year period.”

Considering Challenging the Residency of a Candidate?

Remember that for non-partisan candidates on the November 2022 ballot, July 12, 2022 – July 25, 2022 at 5:00 p.m. is the candidate challenge period.

It’s no surprise that some candidates may try to skirt around the residency requirement for the position they are running for. It’s not unheard of for candidates to buy a property in the area they are to reside in but primarily live somewhere else.

If you are considering challenging a candidate's residency, you need an experienced election law team working with you. The attorneys at Barton Mendez Soto PLLC have won countless cases where electoral candidates were in the wrong. Let us help prove your case — contact us today online or by phone. (480) 418-0668

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