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Voter Registration

It’s not automatic, but it’s easy

Wouldn’t it be wild if, when anyone in the United States turned eighteen, they were automatically registered to vote? It’s a ridiculous idea, full of holes, and probably impossible to implement, but at least it is relatively easy to register to vote in Alaska. As of May 3, the most recent available data at press time, there were 487,556 registered voters in Alaska. With currently available population statistics, that leaves more than 35,000 Alaskans who are eligible to vote but haven’t registered.

 

Getting Out the Vote

The first step in getting out the vote is getting eligible voters registered.

To find many ways to register to vote in Alaska, go online to elections.alaska.gov and click on the Voter Registration Information tab found on the home page upper left menu.

The Alaska Division of Elections website has comprehensive information as well as forms and links to enable registration for any eligible voter. According to the Alaska Division of Elections, “To register to vote in Alaska you must be a US Citizen, a resident of Alaska, and at least 18 years old or will be 18 years old within 90 days of completing this application.”

 

Voter Deadlines

July 20 is thirty days before the August 19 Primary Election. It is the deadline that has to be met in order to register and be able to vote in the primary. The deadline to register for the November 4 General Election is October 5. For those registered voters wanting to update or change their voter registration, the deadlines are the same for both the Primary and General elections—July 20 and October 5.

 

Voter Education

Businesses are increasingly encouraging employees to vote and educating their employees about candidates and issues that could impact their jobs in positive and negative ways. Many such activities are regulated and reportable.

Employers that provide employees with voter registration information and that encourage employees to register and vote are not under the regulated or reportable election activity disclosure requirements. However, certain other activities are. Title 15 ELECTIONS of the Alaska Statutes details rules of the law. Section 15.13 spells it out:

 

(b) Except as otherwise provided, 
this chapter applies to contributions, 
expenditures, and communications
made for 
the purpose of influencing 
the outcome of a ballot proposition
or question 
as well as those made
to 
influence the nomination 
or election of a candidate.

 

The regulations for following the rules are found in Alaska Administrative Code, Title 2, Chapter 50, and contain campaign disclosure, lobbying, legislative and public official financial disclosure, procedures, and definitions. The Alaska Public Offices Commission will also answer questions about the rules and regulations.

 

Voter Registration

Register and vote. Voting is the basis for our free society, for our democracy, for our way of life. It is our voice in governance. It is the mechanism for citizens to participate in majority rule. It is our constitutional right. We’ve included a sidebar regarding Primary Election ballots because although every registered voter is allowed one vote, there are three ballots. 

This first appeared in the July 2014 print edition of Alaska Business Monthly magazine.

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