Alaskans Vote as East Coast Voters Clean Up
Many Alaskans voted early or sent in absentee ballots
ANCHORAGE - Voting day is the furthest thing from the minds of many Hurricane Sandy victims as they deal with the loss of family members and property.
Election Day is just days away and many on the East Coast are wondering whether everyone who's eligible to vote will even be able to cast their ballots.
So what if Alaska was hit by a disaster close to election day?
“I believe in order to postpone or change a presidential election, that power lies with the United States Congress as outlined in the constitution,” said Gail Fenumiai, Director of the Division of Elections for Alaska.
“So I don't believe the state of Alaska itself could make a determination to just go ahead and say we are going to delay the election,” said Fenumiai.
Fenumiai said she hasn’t spoken to her co-directors on the East Coast and hasn’t heard that any state is taking stops to delay the election.
“I figure they have a lot on their hands right now and are busy just trying to make sure their polls can open, that the voters can get to them and maybe find alternative ways for voters to vote in an emergency situation,” she said.
Meanwhile, in Alaska, thousands have already cast their vote.
Early and in-person absentee, special needs and by-fax voting began just ten days ago and the Division of Elections it’s been receiving tubs full of mailed in ballots.
As of Friday, more than 43,000 early votes of some kind had been received.
They included 19,878 ballots received through the mail.
And it appears many voters are taking advantage of the new way to vote; with a ballot delivered to them electronically. The voter has an option to return that ballot through an online secure web site or by mail or fax.
So far, 1,678 Alaskans have retuned their ballots online.
You can still apply to have a ballot faxed to you - the last day to apply for a faxed ballot is 5 p.m. Monday.
Fax and online ballots must be received by 8 p.m. on election day.
You can vote absentee or early in person at the elections office on Gambell Street or City Hall but check the Division of Elections website for specific open times.