Primary election sends Alaskans to the polls

Legislative and U.S. House candidates to be decided as well as the fate of two statewide ballot propositions.

Anchorage Daily NewsAugust 27, 2012 

Alaska voters go to the polls Tuesday to decide on two ballot propositions and nominate legislative and U.S. House candidates for the November general election.

Republican U.S. Rep. Don Young has held his seat for nearly 40 years, and faces challengers from both the Democratic and Republican parties.

But most of the debate has centered on a ballot measure that would change how projects along Alaska's coastline are regulated.

Turnout in recent primary elections has averaged about 30 percent, said state elections director Gail Fenumiai. But early voting through mid-day Monday, and absentee ballot returns were down a bit from normal, she said.

Here's what you need to know about Tuesday's primary election:

What's on the ballot?

U.S. House candidates, Alaska state Senate and House, two ballot measures.

Ballot Measure 1 is about property taxes that local governments collect. It would allow a city or borough to exempt up to $50,000 worth of a residence from property taxes. The current limit under state law is $20,000.

Ballot Measure 2 would establish the Alaska Coastal Management Program, which would create new standards for reviewing projects in coastal areas.

How to vote

Polling places are open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Bring identification such as a voter ID card, driver's license, passport or military ID card.

Many voters have new polling places this year due to redistricting. Fenumiai says she's been told to expect more questioned ballots than usual -- from people voting in the wrong precinct -- because of the boundary changes.

To look up where to vote, call 269-8683 in Anchorage or 888-383-8683. Or check online at elections.alaska.gov/vi_w_polls.php.

Which ballot you get

There are three types of ballots.

Any registered voter can vote the ballot with candidates from the Alaska Democratic Party, Alaska Libertarian Party and Alaskan Independence Party candidates.

Any registered voter can also choose a ballot that just has the ballot measures, no candidates.

Only voters registered Republican, undeclared or nonpartisan can get the ballot that includes Alaska Republican Party candidates and the ballot measures.

Post-election counting

Ballots of people who voted early in person, through Monday, will be counted election night, said Fenumiai. There will be a count seven days after the election of absentee and questioned ballots that are ready.

Election Central

Election Central in Anchorage is at the Dena'ina Civic and Convention Center from 8 to 11:30 p.m., with results posted on screens.

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