Skip to main Content
Politics

How to vote early in Alaska’s general election

  • Author: Tegan Hanlon
  • Updated: October 27, 2018
  • Published October 26, 2018

Voters enter the Region II Elections office at 2525 Gambell Street in Anchorage as early voting began for the general election on Monday, Oct. 22, 2018. (Bill Roth/ ADN)

Early voting started this week for Alaska's Nov. 6 general election.

Voters will be deciding their next U.S. representative and weigh in on the salmon habitat initiative — Ballot Measure 1. They'll also pick which candidates they want to fill seats in the Alaska Legislature and decide who they want to become Alaska's next governor: Republican Mike Dunleavy or Democrat Mark Begich.

By Thursday, more than 10,000 Alaskans had already cast ballots and thousands more voted absentee, according to the Alaska Division of Elections.

Interested in voting before Election Day? Here's what you need to know.

Who can vote early?

Anyone registered to vote in Alaska. (Need to check if you're registered to vote? Go to myvoterinformation.alaska.gov.)

Where do I go to vote early?

Early voting started Monday and runs through the Nov. 6 Election Day. There are about 188 early-voting locations across the state, according to the elections division.

In Anchorage, head to either City Hall or the Region II Elections Office at 2525 Gambell St. Polls are open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The elections office will also be open the weekend before Election Day.

(For more voting locations and their hours, go to elections.alaska.gov.)

What should I bring to vote early?

Bring a form of identification, such as a voter ID card, driver's license or passport.

What is on the ballot?

Voters will select who they want to fill Alaska's sole U.S. House seat, as well as pick a new governor and lieutenant governor. They will also decide on state senators and state representatives. They will determine whether 15 district and Superior Court judges should keep their jobs.

There's also one ballot measure. Ballot Measure 1, if approved, would amend Alaska's fish habitat permitting law. Depending on who you ask, the ballot measure will either protect salmon or hurt the state's economy.

View sample ballots by House district here. (Don't know what House district you're in? The elections division has a list and maps on its website.)

What's the deal with the governor's race?

Gov. Bill Walker announced last Friday that he was suspending his re-election campaign and throwing his support to his Democratic challenger, Begich. Three days earlier, former Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott abruptly stepped down from office and from the campaign.

But Walker and Mallott dropped out of the race too late, so their names will still appear on the ballot. That means Alaskans will see four options when they vote for governor: Dunleavy, Begich, Libertarian Billy Toien and Walker, an independent.

Any Alaskans who sent in absentee ballots before Walker suspended his re-election campaign will not get to vote again, said the elections division. Also, a vote for any candidate for governor or lieutenant governor appearing on the ballot — including Walker and Mallott — will be counted as a vote for those candidates, the division said.

Voters who have filled out their absentee ballots but have not yet sent them into the elections division can get a replacement ballot, if needed. To do so, contact the division's Absentee and Petition Office, according to an email from elections division spokeswoman Samantha Miller. Miller said voters can also "cross-out, write NO next to the candidate they don't want to vote for and then fill in the oval of their choice."

How do I vote absentee?

Alaskans can vote absentee in four ways: in person, by mail, by fax or by a special-needs ballot, according to the elections division.

In-person absentee voting started Monday. Anyone can vote this way. Alaskans do not need an excuse, as some other states require. For absentee voting locations in your community, check with the elections division.

(The difference between in-person absentee voting and early voting: An early voter's eligibility is verified at the time of voting and then, if verified, their ballot is placed directly into the ballot box. Absentee ballots go into an envelope and the voter's eligibility is later reviewed.)

Any registered voter can also request an absentee by-mail ballot. Alaskans must apply for one by Saturday. To get an absentee ballot by fax or through an online delivery system, apply by 5 p.m. Nov. 5. (More on that here.)

Voters unable to go to the polls because of age, serious illness or a disability can have a personal representative pick up their ballot. (For more information on special needs voting, go to elections.alaska.gov.)

What happens on Nov. 6?

It's Election Day! Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Local news matters.

Support independent, local journalism in Alaska.

Comments