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Thursday, November 23, 2017
HomePolicyElection revisions cloaked in mystery

Election revisions cloaked in mystery

The Division of Elections quietly filed notice early this month that it plans regulatory changes for activities ranging from registering voters to collecting signatures on petitions.

Some rewrites and repeals are explained adequately and relate to expired dates, but others are obtuse.The intent of the notice appears to be to give the public the least amount of information possible. And finding them on line is subject to luck rather than logic.

THE CHANGES – HIGHLIGHTS

Hawkins

Regulation to be repealed:

– AAC 25.027(c) is proposed to be changed as follows: amend the regulation to remove the proof of residency documentation for those that submit registrations on behalf of a voter.

Current regulation reads:

(c) An applicant who requests registration or reregistration by mail from outside this state must provide identification or other documentation that supports the applicant’s claim to Alaska residency. If a form of identification required under (a) of this section is provided, the identification must include an Alaska residence address. Other forms of documentation include

(1) a military leave and earnings statement that identifies Alaska as the applicant’s state of legal residence;

(2) proof of employment in this state that indicates a date on which the applicant was employed; or

(3) proof of an Alaska student loan or college tuition showing Alaska as the state of residence.

Not explained is what the Division of Elections intends to replace it with.

Will no proof of residency be required? Does this mean paid out-of-state mercenaries can submit voter registrations without proof of residency? There is no explanation.

Regulation to be repealed:

 – AAC 25.240(l) is proposed to be repealed. The intended effect of this repeal is to remove language that dictates which election is used for determining the number of required signatures is required for a petition to be filed.

The current regulation reads:

“For the purpose of circulating a petition, “preceding general election” means the last general election held before the date the application was filed.”

There’s no explanation give as to why this should be repealed or how it will be executed without such a date certain.

The proposed Alaska Administrative Code changes are normally found on the Division of Elections web site, but these were found among the general Online Public Notices instead.

FIND OUT MORE, IF YOU CAN

The public can request a summary of proposed changes by contacting brian.jackson@alaska.gov. But fair warning, the justification for the changes is not included in the summary.

The Division of Elections will accept comments by fax at 907-465-3203 and at elections@alaska.gov. Comments may also be submitted through the Alaska Online Public Notice Systemd. Comments must be received not later than 4 pm on Dec. 12, 2017.

Alaskans may submit written questions relevant to the change proposed by writing to Brian Jackson at brian.jackson@alaska.gov. The questions must be received at least 10 days before the end of the public comment period. The Division of Elections will aggregate its response to substantially similar questions and make the questions and responses available on the Alaska Online Public Notice System and agency website at a time not given.

Read and comment to the Division here.

ELECTIONS AD HOC WORK GROUP MEETS

Meanwhile, Lieutenant Governor Byron Mallott’s Elections Work Group receive an overview of the election system on Nov. 14, 2017, 1-4 p.m. at Anchorage City Hall, 632 W. 6th Avenue, 1st floor. The call-in number is 1-800-315-6338 Code: 35351#

Contact Josie Bahnke at 907.465.4611 or email: Josie.bahnke@Alaska.gov for more information.

The agenda for the meeting is posted here.

None of this information is readily available at the Division’s web site.

We went looking for the transparency promised by the Walker Administration and didn’t find it at the Division of Elections.

 

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Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comment

  • Both of the changes noted are patently bogus and border on the insane. Fortunately, the Division of Elections cannot do this on its own; the Legislature would have to pass the language. Thanks for the advance notice. The current Administration has many problems…

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