This week, the Anchorage Municipal Clerk’s Office mailed a second set of address verification postcards to 208,000 qualified registered voters in the municipality.
Anchorage voters should receive their postcard in the mail this week.
The postcard asks you to review your current mailing address so you’ll get a ballot in the mail in about two months. Ballot packages that are undeliverable will not be forwarded by the U.S. Postal Service.
Alternately, if you are qualified for a 2018 Permanent Fund dividend, you will automatically be registered to vote when you apply for it under the new system voters approved that provides for automatic registration and updating of your address for elections purposes. That deadline is March 31, but for the Anchorage Municipal Election, you’ll need to get on it now.
Anchorage will no longer operate as many traditional polling locations. The ones that will be operating — for those needing extra assistance — will not be in the usual neighborhoods.
Instead, qualified registered voters will be mailed a ballot package 21 days before Election Day: March 13. That is the day people will start filling in their bubbles.
Voters will need to think like an absentee voter and return their ballots via mail or an election drop box, which will be like a mail box in various locations around the city. (Parents may need to show their millennial offspring how to use stamps and envelopes.)
EASY AS 1-2-3-FRAUD
Vote by mail may be ripe for fraud.
If you’re like many Anchorage residents, you’ll see verification postcards for yourself and several others — people who used to live at your address, such as the one received by this Anchorage voter at her apartment address:
There’s no instructions given on what to do with all the extra ballot verification postcards. Likely there are thousands of these misdirected cards being received throughout the city.
The elections office is using signature verification to ensure that people are who they say they are, but it’s unclear if this is adequate. The absentee ballot is considered the least secure ballot and the most prone to fraud.
WHO IS RUNNING
Two declared mayoral candidates will appear on the ballot so far: Rebecca Logan, who runs the Alaska Support Industry Alliance trade group, and current mayor Ethan Berkowitz, who is finishing his first term.
In addition, three school board seats are up for election: Seats D, E, and F. Numerous candidates have filed for them. Must Read Alaska will cover the races for those seats in coming days.
Prospective candidates will need to file with the Alaska Public Offices Commission before they raise any funds (more than $5,000), and file officially with the municipality between Jan. 19 and Feb. 2.
CAMPAIGNING GETS REAL
The early voting means Anchorage voters will start choosing the local leaders on about March 13. By the time the sun rises on April 3, most of the ballots will already have been marked and in.
Candidates are having to change their strategies to address this new calendar, where essentially everyone is going to an absentee ballot format.
Will there be a need for the traditional sign-waving on April 3? Or will volunteers be better used going door to door to get people to turn in their ballots? How will candidates pace their resources as the April 3 deadline closes in?
VOTER QUESTIONS? ATTEND A PRESENTATION
The Anchorage Municipal Clerk’s Office is accepting requests for community presentations about how vote by mail will work in the April 3 municipal election.