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Alaska

0 /65
Vote at Home Score

2020 General Election

Turnout rate (VEP)

0 %

Votes cast from mailed-out ballots

0 %

2016 General Election

Turnout rate (VEP)

0 %

Votes cast from mailed-out ballots

0 %

State election policies as of 2022...​

Full Vote-at-Home

0/10

Full Vote-at-Home

Voter automatically mailed ballot for every election

No Excuse Required

6/6

No Excuse Required

No excuse to vote from home

Single Sign-Up

1/6

Single Sign-Up

Voter signs up once to receive mail ballot for all future elections

Local Vote-at-Home Option

3/5

Local VAH Option

Local governments have discretion to conduct full vote-at-home elections

Online Mail Ballot Sign-Up

2/2

Online Mail Ballot Sign-Up

Voter can apply for mail ballot online

Ballot Tracking

3/4

Ballot Tracking

Voter can receive ballot status notifications.

In-Person Ballot Return

4/5

In-Person Ballot Return

Voter has multiple options to return mail ballot in person

Signature Verification

0/5

Signature Verification

Voter signature verified before ballot is counted

Ballot Cure Process

0/4

Ballot Cure Process

Voter can correct issues so ballot can be counted

Prepaid Postage

0/4

Prepaid Postage

Postage-paid return envelopes provided

Election Day Postmark Acceptance

4/4

Election Day Postmark Acceptance

Ballots postmarked by Election Day are accepted

In-Person Voting

4/4

In-Person Return

Physical locations for voters to vote and receive assistance

Pre-Processing

0/3

Signature Verification

Ballots are verified and scanned before Election Day

Mail Ballot Applications

2/2

Mail Ballot Applications

Election officials can mail ballot applications to all voters eligible to vote from home

Ballot Return Assistance

1/2

Ballot Return Assistance

Voters may receive assistance to return their mail ballot

Opportunities

Alaska can reduce costs and increase voter convenience by expanding its permanent absentee option, where voters can sign up to automatically be sent an absentee ballot for each election without having to re-apply, to all voters. Currently, only residents that are disabled or remote can sign up. States experience significant savings with these lists; on average, states save $1 for every request they no longer need to process.
Alaska has already implemented drop boxes as a result of the pandemic, but should make these return options permanent fixtures for future elections; they reduce strain on the postal system, and are sometimes a preferred method by voters who want more reassurance that their ballots will arrive on time. We recommend allowing ballots to be received at polling or vote centers, drop boxes, and other locations deemed necessary by clerks.
In October 2020, a court suspended the witness requirement for the 2020 election and Alaska allowed voters to provide “voter identifiers” instead. An even more secure option would be to get rid of the witness requirement and instead implement signature verification, which ensures election security while streamlining ballot processing.
In the event that a voter’s ballot is rejected, said voter should have the ability to cure their ballot quickly and simply. As more voters use absentee ballots and, understandably, the number of rejected absentee ballots increases, we recommend implementing a Text2Cure system that allows voters to cure their ballots from their phones.
Ballot tracking software such as Ballot Scout or Ballot TRACE can be a very cost effective tool to improve Alaska’s current ballot tracking system. An expanded notification system helps keep rejection rates low and increases voter confidence and participation.
Guaranteeing prepaid postage is a voter-centric reform that breaks down an economic barrier to the ballot box. It also ensures that voters do not need to make an extra trip to the post office, which makes voting more convenient.

Recent Legislation

Before the pandemic, Alaska passed HB 115, which established a permanent absentee voting list. After the start of the pandemic, the Legislature passed SB 241, which allowed the Director of the Division of Elections to execute elections entirely by mail throughout 2020 and adopt emergency regulations to make mail voting easier. It also instituted other pro-voter reforms like ballot tracking. Following this lead, the Alaska Democratic Party held their April presidential primary entirely by mail and the State Elections Director expanded the use of drop boxes statewide. Alaska has not yet passed legislation to codify these electoral improvements, but has the opportunity to do so until the session ends later in 2021.

Last Updated