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Elections

Frequently Asked Questions

Vote by Mail

What is Vote by Mail?

Are Vote by Mail elections secure?

2018 Special Municipal Election

When is the 2018 Special Municipal Election?

Who is eligible to vote in the Special Municipal Election?

How do I vote in the Special Municipal Election?

Can I vote in person at a polling location?

How do I get help with voting questions?

What is the last day you will accept ballot return envelopes?

What votes will be included in the totals reported on Election night?

How frequently will the numbers be reported on Election night?

Ballots

When will ballots be mailed?

What will I receive in the ballot package?

What if I lose my ballot or never receive my ballot package in the mail?

What can I do to make sure that I receive the correct ballot in the mail at my current mailing address?

What do I do if I move after the 30-day registration deadline?

I will be traveling during the election.  How will I get my ballot?

What if I am out of the country and I will not be able to receive my ballot in time to return it?

Can I vote by email or fax?

How do I mark my ballot?

What if I make a mistake while marking my ballot?

How do I return my ballot?

Accessible Vote Centers

What is an Accessible Vote Center?

Where are the Accessible Vote Centers located and what hours will they be open?

What services can I receive at an Accessible Vote Center?

How do I return the ballot I receive in the mail at an Accessible Vote Center?

May I vote at an Accessible Vote Center?

What identification do I need to obtain a ballot at an Accessible Vote Center?

Can I pick a ballot up at an Accessible Vote Center to take home, mark, and return it later?

Secure Drop Boxes

What is a Secure Drop Box?

Where will the Secure Drop Boxes be located?

When will Secure Drop Boxes be open?

Voter Registration

How do I register to vote in Alaska?

When do I register to vote to participate in an election?

How old must I be to register to vote?

What do I do if my residence address has changed?

How do I cancel my State of Alaska voter registration?

History of Vote by Mail in Anchorage

Why did the Municipality of Anchorage change to Vote by Mail elections?

How was the decision to change to Vote by Mail elections made?

FAQ Answers

What is Vote by Mail?

Vote by Mail is an alternative ballot delivery system where ballots are mailed to eligible voters.  Vote by Mail systems contrast to poll-based voting, where ballots are distributed to various polling locations.  In the Anchorage Vote by Mail system, voters will have the option of returning their mailed ballots in several ways to a central location for counting.

  • Voters may return their ballots by placing them in a Secure Drop Box.  
  • Voters may return their ballots to an Accessible Vote Center.  
  • Voters may return their ballot by mail through the U.S. Postal Service using first class postage.

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Are Vote by Mail elections secure?

Vote by Mail elections are secure.  The Municipal Clerk's Office takes election security seriously and helps to keep election secure by:

  • Not connecting Vote by Mail equipment to the internet. 
  • Checking that all signatures match those in State of Alaska voter records.
  • Emptying Secure Drop Boxes often.
  • Training workers to securely handle voting materials.
  • Locking up voting materials.

Voters can also help to keep elections secure by:

  • Keeping their ballots safe.
  • Tearing ballots in half before throwing them away if not voting.
  • Following the instructions on the ballot and envelope.
  • Signing the return envelope.
  • Responding to letters and phone calls from election officials.
  • Reporting concerns to election officials right away.

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When is the 2018 Special Municipal Election?

The 2018 Special Municipal Election is Tuesday, August 7, 2018.

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Who is eligible to vote in the Special Municipal Election?

To vote in the August 7, 2018 Special Municipal Election, you must be:

  • Qualified to vote in State of Alaska elections, and
  • Registered to vote at an address in Assembly District 3 West Anchorage for at least 30 days before an election.

Search by address to identify your current Assembly district by using our Assembly District map.

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How do I vote in the August 7, 2018 Special Municipal Election?

The August 7, 2018 Special Municipal Election will be a Vote by Mail election.

Your ballot package will be mailed to you approximately three weeks before Election Day, giving you time to carefully research the ballot questions, mark the ballot, and return it in time for the ballot to be counted.  You may return your ballot to a Secure Drop Box, an Accessible Vote Center, or mail it with first class postage.  Additional instructions about how to vote by mail will be included in the ballot package.

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Can I vote in person at a polling location?

You may vote at an Accessible Vote Center by:

  • Dropping off your ballot return envelope containing your marked ballot.
  • Taking your unmarked ballot package to an Accessible Vote Center and marking your ballot in a voting booth.
  • Voting in-person in a voting booth if you lose, damage or do not receive your mailed ballot.

In all cases, marked ballots are placed in a ballot return envelope and a secure ballot box for processing.

More Accessible Vote Center information coming soon. 

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How do I get help with voting questions?

You may access help with voting questions by:

  • Calling the Voter Hotline at 907-243-VOTE (8683);
  • Visiting the MOA Election Center at 619 East Ship Creek Avenue at Door D on the east side of the building; or 
  • Visiting an Accessible Vote Center.

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What is the last day you will accept ballot return envelopes?

The last day for MOA Elections to accept ballot return envelopes postmarked on or before Election Day is Friday, August 24, 2018.

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What votes will be included in the totals reported on Election Night?

The numbers reported on Election Night will include all ballot return envelopes that were received through the mail, by AVC and in the Secure Drop Boxes early Tuesday morning depending on how much we are able to process.  All other ballot return envelopes voted at an AVC on Tuesday or dropped off at a Secure Drop Box after mid-morning Tuesday will most likely be processed on Wednesday morning and will be reported in updated results on Wednesday.

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How frequently will the numbers be reported on Election Night?

There will be only one set of numbers reported at about 8:30 p.m. on Election Night.

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When will ballots be mailed?

Ballot packages will be mailed on July 17, 2018, three weeks before Election Day, August 7, 2018.

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What will I receive in the ballot package?

Every ballot package will contain:

  • an official ballot,
  • a security sleeve,
  • instructions, and 
  • a ballot return envelope.

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What if I lose my ballot or never receive my ballot package in the mail?

If you lose or do not receive your ballot package in the mail, call the Voter Hotline at 907-243-VOTE (8683) to request a replacement ballot package.

You may also visit an Accessible Vote Center to vote.  You must have proper identification to vote in-person at an Accessible Vote Center. 

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What can I do to make sure that I receive the correct ballot in the mail at my current mailing address?

You must register to vote or update your registration 30 days before an election.  Make sure the residence address on file with the State of Alaska Division of Elections is where you currently reside. Ballot packages cannot be forwarded.

To check your voter registration information, visit the State of Alaska Division of Elections at https://myvoterinformation.alaska.gov/, call 907-522-VOTE (8683), or go to the State of Alaska Region II Elections Office at 2525 Gambell Street, Suite 100.

To update your voter registration information, visit the State of Alaska Division of Elections at https://voterregistration.alaska.gov/, call 907-522-VOTE (8683), or go to the State of Alaska Region II Elections Office at 2525 Gambell Street, Suite 100.

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What do I do if I move after the 30-day registration deadline?

If you move after the 30-day deadline, call the Voter Hotline at 907-243-VOTE (8683) and you will be given instructions to go to an Accessible Vote Center to vote.  You will be required to vote a provisional or questioned ballot so election officials can capture your new address to update the voter registration database. 

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I will be traveling during the election.  How will I get my ballot?

Ballot packages will be mailed on July 17, 2018, three weeks before Election Day, August 7, 2018.  If you want to receive your ballot package at a temporary address rather than your regular mailing address, complete the Application to Vote at a Temporary Address on the Municipal Elections Website.

Or, call the Voter Hotline at 907-243-VOTE (8683) for more information.

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What if I am out of the country and I will not be able to receive my ballot in time to return it?

Ballot packages will be mailed on July 17, 2018, three weeks before Election Day, August 7, 2018.  If you will be out of the country and you will not be able to receive your mail in time to return your ballot - and you are able to send and receive an email or fax - complete an Application to Vote by Email or an Application to Vote by Fax.  Return the application as soon as possible. Applications to vote by email or by fax are due no later than July 31, 2018. Applications received after this date will be processed as time allows, through August 6 at 5:00 p.m. AKDT.

Or, call the Voter Hotline at 907-243-VOTE (8683) for more information.

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Can I vote by email or fax?

You must apply to vote by email or fax.  Complete an Application to Vote by Email or an Application to Vote by Fax.  Return your application to MOA Elections by 5:00 p.m. AKDT on July 31, 2018.  Instructions are included with the application. Applications received after this date will be processed as time allows, through August 6 at 5:00 p.m. AKDT.

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How do I mark my ballot?

Mark your ballot using a black or blue pen, completely filling in the oval beside the selection of your choice.  Instructions for marking your ballot are shown on the ballot.

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What if I make a mistake while marking my ballot?

The ballot contains instructions about how to correct mistakes while marking your ballot.  If you make an error on your selection, strike through the oval and the name or answer to indicate that you do not want to vote for that candidate or proposition.

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How do I return my ballot?

You may choose one of three methods to return your ballot.

  • Take your ballot return envelope with first class postage to the U.S. Post Office.

Or, save postage and:

  • Place your ballot return envelope in a Secure Drop Box.
  • Take your ballot return envelope to an Accessible Vote Center. 

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What is an Accessible Vote Center?

An Accessible Vote Center is a location where you can get voter services.  "Accessible" for the purpose of Municipal Elections means the building is generally accessible to all and that all voters can receive voting assistance.  The Municipality of Anchorage is not able to provide accessible voting equipment.

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Where are the Accessible Vote Centers located and what hours will they be open?

More information about Accessible Vote Center locations for the Special Municipal Election on Tuesday, August 7, 2018 coming soon ...

 

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What services can I receive at an Accessible Vote Center?

At an Accessible Vote Center, you may:

  • Return your mail ballot.
  • Vote in-person if you lose, damage or do not receive your ballot package in the mail..
  • Receive voting assistance.
  • Access help for other voter questions.
  • Register to vote.
  • Vote a questioned or provisional ballot.

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How do I return the ballot I receive in the mail at an Accessible Vote Center?

You have two options for returning the ballot you receive in the mail to an Accessible Vote Center:

  • You may drop off your ballot return envelope containing your marked ballot, or
  • You may take your unmarked ballot package to an Accessible Vote Center and mark your ballot in a voting booth.

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May I vote at an Accessible Vote Center?

Yes, you may vote at an Accessible Vote Center by:

  • Dropping off your ballot return envelope containing your marked ballot.
  • Taking your unmarked ballot package to an Accessible Vote Center and marking your ballot in a voting booth.
  • Voting in-person in a voting booth if you lose, damage or do not receive your mailed ballot.

In all cases, marked ballots are placed in a ballot return envelope and a secure ballot box for processing.

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What identification do I need to obtain a ballot at an Accessible Vote Center?

Acceptable forms of identification include:

  • a Signed Voter Card
  • a State of Alaska Driver's License
  • a State of Alaska I.D. Card
  • a Military I.D. Card
  • a Passport
  • a Hunting or Fishing License
  • other current or valid photo identification
  • other identification acceptable in State of Alaska elections

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Can I pick a ballot up at an Accessible Vote Center to take home, mark, and return it later?

No, you must mark your ballot at the Accessible Vote Center and place it into the ballot box on-site.

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What is a Secure Drop Box?

A Secure Drop Box is a secure container where voters may place their return envelope containing their marked ballots.

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Where will the Secure Drop Boxes be located?

More information about the Secure Drop Box locations for the Special Municipal Election on Tuesday, August 7, 2018 coming soon.

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When will Secure Drop Boxes be open?

Secure Drop Boxes will be open 24 hours, 7 days-a-week beginning approximately 3 weeks before Election Day, August 7, 2018. 

Secure Drop Boxes will be closed at 8:00 p.m. on Election Day, August 7, 2018. Voters in line at a Secure Drop Box by 8:00 p.m. on Election Day will be allowed to drop off their ballots.

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How do I register to vote in Alaska?

Register to vote by visiting the ...

  • State of Alaska Voter Registration System (OLVR) online, or
  • Alaska Region II Elections Office in person at 2525 Gambell Street, Suite 100. 

For more information, call 907-522-VOTE (8683).

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When do I register to vote to participate in an election?

You must be registered to vote 30 days before an election. The voter registration deadline for the August 7, 2018 Special Municipal Election is Sunday, July 8, 2018.

Register to vote by visiting the ...

  • State of Alaska Voter Registration System (OLVR) online, or
  • Alaska Region II Elections Office in person at 2525 Gambell Street, Suite 100. 

For more information, call 907-522-VOTE (8683).

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How old must I be to register to vote?

If you are under 18 years of age, you may register to vote anytime in the 90-day period before your 18th birthday.  If you are 18 years of age or older, you may register to vote at any time.

Register to vote by visiting the ...

  • State of Alaska Voter Registration System (OLVR) online, or
  • Alaska Region II Elections Office in person at 2525 Gambell Street, Suite 100. 

For more information, call 907-522-VOTE (8683).

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What do I do if my residence address has changed?

If your residence address has changed, update your registration with the State of Alaska Division of Elections as soon as possible by visiting the ...

  • State of Alaska Voter Registration System (OLVR) online, or
  • Alaska Region II Elections Office in person at 2525 Gambell Street, Suite 100. 

If your residence address changes less than 30 days before an election, you will be required to vote a provisional or questioned ballot so that election officials can capture your new address to update the voter registration database.

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How do I cancel my State of Alaska voter registration?

Cancel your voter registration ...

  • online, at the State of Alaska Division of Elections Website, Cancel Your Alaska Voter Registration webpage;
  • in person, at the Alaska Region II Elections Office, 2525 Gambell Street, Suite 100; or
  • by phone, call 907-522-VOTE (8683).

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Why did the Municipality of Anchorage change to Vote by Mail elections?

One reason Anchorage changed to Vote by Mail elections is to boost voter turnout.  Three states and dozens of local communities have changed to Vote by Mail elections.  Voter turnout has markedly increased in most of those jurisdictions.

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How was the decision to change to Vote by Mail elections made?

The Anchorage Assembly asked the Municipal Clerk's Office to explore ways to increase the number of citizens voting.  The research favored changing to vote by mail elections.

The Assembly wanted to know what the public thought about voting by mail.  The Municipal Clerk's Office asked a group of people from businesses, non-profits, and others interested in elections and voting issues to join a "stakeholder group."  After meeting a number of times to discuss voting methods, the group supported the Vote by Mail concept.

On March 8, 2016, the Assembly introduced a change to Municipal Code to allow voting by mail.  A public hearing was held and on March 22, 2016, the Assembly approved the change which established vote by mail as the method of choice for Municipal elections.

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For all Municipal Voting Information Call 907-243-VOTE (8683) or e-mail us at elections@muni.org.

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    • Elections
    • Municipal Clerk: Barbara A. Jones
    • MOA Election Center 619 East Ship Creek Avenue, Suite 100, Anchorage, AK 99501
    • (907) 243-VOTE (8683)