The importance of early ballots is growing with the state's permanent early voter list, but Mesa, Gilbert and Apache Junction residents who prefer to cast their vote the old-fashioned way will have their say on key municipal decisions Tuesday.
Mesa voters will head to the polls to decide the fate of Proposition 300, which would approve a deal the city made with developers to retain $51 million in bed tax incentives to promote two proposed resorts in southeast Mesa and the surrounding Phoenix-Mesa Gateway area.
As of Wednesday, 42,230 people had turned in early ballots to the city clerk's office, ensuring that total voter turnout for the election will be at least 20 percent.
In Gilbert, where the mayor's job and two other Town Council seats are up for grabs, contests that will go on to a May 19 runoff if they are not decided by more than 50 percent of the votes cast.
Mayor Steve Berman is facing five opponents: Councilman Don Skousen, former Councilman Dave Petersen, University of Phoenix IT director John Lewis, Arizona Cardinals executive Adam Turner and student Eric Hurley.
One council incumbent, Joan Krueger, is competing with six newcomers to keep her job; Jenn Daniels, James Hazel III, William Jefferson, Erin Scroggins, John Sentz and Lonnie Stradling.
The primary has already pulled in the largest number of ballots of any Gilbert election. As of Thursday, 12,830 early ballots had been received, a 12 percent total voter turnout that easily beats the 10 percent in the 2007 primary and general elections.
Voters in Apache Junction will determine who their next mayor is going to be, as well as three council members in a hotly contested primary election. They'll also get to recall the potential winners.
Mayor John Insalaco, even if he wins the primary, can be recalled in a separate election along with council members R.E. Eck, Robin Barker, Richard Dietz and Jeff Serdy.
If Insalaco wins the primary election and gets recalled, he'll lose his mayoral seat, but only for about three months when his new term would start in June, town officials said.
Barker and Serdy are not in the primary election.
For the three council seats, incumbents Dietz, Douglas Coleman and Eck are running against John Kantowski, Christa Rizzi, Janice Stenglein, Andrew Whiteneck, Ted Mueller and David R. Dowdle.
In the mayoral primary, Insalaco faces Dave Waldron and Noel T. Benoist. In the recall, Insalaco faces Benoist and Elliott E. Fisher.