Alaska in Brief

Last week to register for Alaska’s Aug. 16 elections

By: - July 11, 2022 1:21 pm

Volunteers operate an in-person polling place for the special U.S. House primary election on Friday, May 27, 2022, in the atrium of the State Office Building at Juneau, Alaska. Potential voters must register by July 17 in order to participate in the Alaska’s Aug. 16 primary election and the special election for U.S. House. (Photo by James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)

This is the last week to register to vote before Alaska’s Aug. 16 primary election and the special election for U.S. House.

Potential voters must register by July 17 in order to participate in the elections, which will take place on the same day. 

Voters will not automatically receive a ballot in the mail for the Aug. 16 election but can request one.

Registration is available online or in person at a Division of Elections office. Alaskans can check the status of their registration after Wednesday online. (The system is offline while it is updated to account for this year’s redistricting process.)

To request a ballot by mail for the Aug. 16 election, apply online before Aug. 6. Otherwise, early voting will begin Aug. 1 at locations across the state, and polling stations will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Aug. 16. The locations of election-day polling stations have not yet been finalized.

The primary election ballot will include state House, state Senate, and U.S. House and U.S. Senate candidates. Voters will be asked to pick one candidate for reach race. The winners of the primary election will advance to the November general election.

On the back side of the ballot will be the special U.S. House election featuring Sarah Palin, Nick Begich and Mary Peltola. Voters will be asked to rank all three candidates in order of preference. The winner of the special U.S. House election will represent Alaska in Congress until January.

Most Alaskans are already registered to vote: State law calls for anyone who applies for a Permanent Fund dividend or Alaska driver’s license to be registered unless they’re ineligible or specifically opt out.

New arrivals in the state are most likely to be the ones needing to register. Alaskans turning 18 and those who have had their voting rights restored after probation may also need to register.

As of July 8, the state had 597,395 registered voters. That figure likely includes tens of thousands of people who have registered in the state and since moved away. A voter stays registered unless they specifically cancel their registration or register in another state.

According to the registry, an individual registered voter has the greatest power in House District 40, which has 9,518 registered voters. A voter in the southern Kenai Peninsula has the least power, because he or she is one of 17,680 registered voters.

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James Brooks
James Brooks

James Brooks is a longtime Alaska reporter, having previously worked at the Anchorage Daily News, Juneau Empire, Kodiak Mirror and Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. A graduate of Virginia Tech, he is married to Caitlyn Ellis, owns a house in Juneau and has a small sled dog named Barley. He can be contacted at [email protected]

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