Nov. 8 is the final day to vote in Alaska’s general election
Here’s what to know about Election Day and how to vote
A voter joins a line of voters waiting to cast their ballots at the state Division of Elections office in Anchorage. (Photo by Yereth Rosen/Alaska Beacon)
Tuesday, Nov. 8, is Election Day and polls across Alaska are open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Voters get to decide several races – who Alaska sends to D.C., who will lead the state as governor, and who will be sent to the state capital. Voters will also weigh in on a once-in-a-decade ballot measure question and what judges to retain. Tuesday is the final day to vote in Alaska’s general election.
Ranked choice voting
This is the second time Alaska voters will be doing ranked choice voting, which allows voters to rank candidates in order of preference. The first time was in August during the special general election for Alaska’s U.S. representative.
“This election looks a lot different though because for that one, there was just one race. This election has United States senator, United States representative, governor/lieutenant governor, state Senate and state House races that will all be done via the ranked choice voting model,” Alaska Division of Elections Director Gail Fenumiai said Monday.
The races for U.S. senator, U.S. representative and governor/lieutenant governor will appear on every ballot. Races for state senator and state representative will differ depending on where you live (only Senate District T, which includes House districts 39 and 40, does not have an election for state senator on the ballot).
See a sample ballot for your district here. Find out which Senate and House districts you’re in by entering your address into the Alaska Division of Elections Precincts map.
Fenumiai recommends voters look at a sample ballot ahead of time.
“They can practice ranking and marking, and be prepared when they get to the booth. The front side will have all the ranked choice voting races and the back side will have the constitutional convention yes-or-no question, as well as judicial candidates who are up for retention. Those are also yes or no votes,” she said.
Ballot measure and judges
All voters will be asked the yes or no question in Ballot Measure No. 1: Shall there be a constitutional convention?
Every 10 years, the state constitution requires the lieutenant governor to place the question on a general election ballot, if a convention hasn’t been held. A “yes” vote supports holding a state constitutional convention. A “no” vote opposes holding a convention. At a convention, the state constitution may be amended or revised, subject to approval by the voters.
Judges who are up for retention will also be on the ballot. Every voter will vote yes or no on a Court of Appeals judge. Then, based on judicial district, voters will also vote yes or no on Superior Court and or District Court judges. Learn more about the judges on the 2022 ballot on the Alaska Judicial Council website or on the Division of Elections candidates webpage.
Find your polling place
As of Monday, Fenumiai said all polling places across the state will be staffed with election workers on Tuesday, “so precincts will be open in all 401 precincts,” she said.
If you don’t know your polling place, there are a few ways to figure out where you should vote. You can enter your address into the Alaska Division of Elections Precincts map, enter your name and city in the Division of Elections Voter Information website, or call any Division of Elections regional office. All methods will give your polling place and precinct number. The precincts map will also list your House district number and Senate district letter.
As an alternative, any voter can also vote at a Division of Elections regional office in Juneau, Anchorage, Fairbanks, Nome or Wasilla; the University of Alaska Anchorage Student Union; Anchorage City Hall; the Anchorage airport; University of Alaska Fairbanks Wood Center; the 8th floor of the State Office Building in Juneau; or Service Area 10 Camp in Prudhoe Bay from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Election Day. Each location will have ballots for all 40 different House districts.
Voters should bring a government-issued ID, such as a voter ID, driver’s license, state ID, tribal ID, military ID, passport, or hunting or fishing license. You can present a current utility bill or paycheck, government check or bank statement or other government-issued document that shows your name and current address.
“We can’t predict that there’s going to be long lines, but we just encourage people’s patience and to be prepared as much as they can be for how they want to fill out the ballot,” Fenumiai said. “Polling places open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. If you are in line at 8 p.m. but have not physically received your ballot, you’re still able to vote.”
Voters unable to vote in person because of age, illness or a disability can have someone pick up a ballot and deliver it to them to get voted. This is done through the special needs process.
“They can have somebody of their choice go to their precinct and pick up a ballot on their behalf. There’s a very detailed envelope that needs to get completed, so we encourage if voters are using that method that they have their personal representative pay close attention to what all is required on that envelope,” Fenumiai said.
Any voter can also have someone assist them at any stage of the voting process, though the person offering assistance cannot be a candidate in the election, your employer, an agent of your employer or an agent of your union. Assistance can include help inside the voting booth with reading and/or marking the ballot.
The same assistance can be used by those needing language assistance.
“They can have anybody of their choice help them,” Fenumiai said. “We also have bilingual poll workers in a number of our precincts, as well as a language assistance toll free number where they can call to receive assistance.” That toll free number is 1-866-954-8683.
Other voting reminders
If you are voting by mail and have a by-mail ballot, it must be postmarked on or before Nov. 8.
“We are encouraging voters to take their ballot to the clerk in the post office and have them hand cancel it, make sure that the voters themselves have signed and provide an identifier and they have a witness signature,” Fenumiai said.
Voters with by-mail ballots can also be hand delivered to a voting location by 8 p.m.
Likewise, if you received a ballot via electronic transmission – by-fax ballot delivery or online ballot delivery – it must be returned on or before 8 p.m. Alaska time on Nov. 8.
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The Alaska Beacon worked with Alaska Public Media, the Anchorage Daily News and KTOO on a candidate comparison tool for the three statewide races for governor, U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives.
The Beacon released its own questionnaire for all of the races, including legislative races, in July. Most candidates who answered questions are on the ballot in the general election. Individual races can be found on the pages for U.S. Senate candidates, U.S. House candidates, governor candidates, state Senate candidates and state House candidates.
The Beacon has done stories about several individual legislative races. They include stories that cover:
- Senate District E (South Anchorage)
- Senate District H (West Anchorage)
- Senate Districts N (Wasilla area) and O (Rural Mat-Su Borough and Valdez)
- Senate District P (Fairbanks)
- House District 1 (Ketchikan and Wrangell)
- House District 2 (Sitka, Petersburg, Yakutat and most of Prince of Wales Island)
- House District 6 (Homer and Kasilof)
- House District 13 (Midtown Anchorage)
- House District 17 (Downtown Anchorage and nearby neighborhoods)
- House District 18 (Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson area)
- House District 21 (South Muldoon) and House District 22 (North Muldoon)
- House District 31 (Fairbanks city)
- House District 38 (Lower Kuskokwim)
- House District 39 (Norton Sound)
Find other Alaska Beacon election coverage on its Election 2022 webpage.
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