State asked to make November election vote-by-mail
Roughly 76,000 people cast their ballots by mail in April's election in Anchorage. It was the first time the city voted like that.
"We feel like it was a great success," says Margaret McDonagh, president of the League of Women Voters.
Her organization wants Anchorage voters to mail their ballots for the first time again, in this year's gubernatorial election.
"Having to switch back to a polling place, a precinct, to vote in the statewide election in November election, we're concerned it's going to lead to a lot of confusion and ultimately, causing voters who became engaged, to become disengaged," McDonagh said.
She believes the confusion would come from many unanswered questions.
"They're waiting at home to get their mail-in ballot, they're not sure where their precinct is, and now it's a thing where we have to go on Election Day and cast a ballot," McDonagh said Sunday.
But, Anchorage voters should not count on mailing in their ballots just yet. That's the word from the Alaska Division of Elections
"Changing the existing precinct-based system for state elections would require legislation that makes significant modifications to state statutes," said spokesperson Samantha Miller.
Changes only the state legislature can make. Unfortunately, lawmakers have already wrapped up their business for the year. However, McDonagh thinks Anchorage voters could mail in their ballots.
"The Municipality of Anchorage is still under the guidance of the state of Alaska, so any change we would make to our local election would still have to be within the parameters, I would imagine, of any state statutes that exist governing how elections are run," says McDonagh.
Anchorage voters made history in April with their ballots. Now, it's wait and see if they can simply mail them in again in November.
Questions or comments about this story? Email reporter Dave Leval
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