Register to vote by this Sunday, July 19 to be eligible to vote in the August 18 primary

Jul 17, 2020

Credit City of Homer

This Sunday, July 19 is the deadline to register to vote in the State of Alaska primary election. The primary elections are on August 18.

There are several contested races to determine candidates for election to US Congress and Alaska State Legislature, Senate and House districts on the Peninsula and across Kachemak Bay.

If you’re getting a PFD check, you may already be registered. The State allows eligible people to automatically register to vote when they apply for the Alaska Permanent Fund.

Alaska Lt. Governor Kevin Meyer spoke on KBBI’s Coffee Table on Wednesday, about the August 18 primary, voting in-person and by early and absentee ballots. Meyer said precincts have new protocols for cleaning polling stations and for spacing out voters.
    
“Well, everything's going to be wiped down and the workers themselves will have a mask on  and/or shields. Some of them want both. and that's fine. We're going to have the spacing in place as well. Everyone should feel safe to vote in person like they're used to. But if they don't, we highly recommend the absentee vote and early vote as other options," said the Lt. Governor.              

According to the Division of Elections website, Alaska is a “no excuse” absentee voting state. Anyone may apply to receive an absentee ballot by online delivery.

Homer City Clerk Melissa Jacobsen is preparing for in-person voting.
She said Homer Precinct 1 is still at Homer City Hall on Pioneer Avenue.
But Homer Precinct 2 is moving.                    
“The Division of Elections has contacted the Homer United Methodist Church and got permission to use that facility as a polling place.”                                     

Kenai Peninsula Borough Clerk Johni Blankenship was also a panelist on the show. The Borough helps facilitate the State’s primary election in August and they have a Borough election coming up in October to prepare for.

"So the current process is you can use the form that is available online – print it, sign it, send it back in. You can go into the Borough office or the City office. We also will be mailing every registered voter in the Kenai Peninsula Borough, an absentee ballot application," Blankenship said.

It isn’t only Homer Precinct 2 that will change locations for in-person voters.
Seven precinct stations in the Borough will move.

“The State of Alaska decides where those polling location are going to be. They're going to be notifying all of those voters as well. And then once those changes have been confirmed, our GIS group will update our mapping program. That information will be put on our website," said Blakenship.

Lt. Governor Meyer also put out the call for poll workers. He says elections are often run by senior citizens and that is not the safest course right now. Meyer said, according to State records, they still need about a half dozen poll workers on the Peninsula for the August primary.

“A lot of the folks that have helped us in the past are over 65 and they just don't want to be indoors around a lot of people for 14 hours. And I respect that.. If anybody would like to do their civic duty and also get paid $15 an hour. We'd love to have you," said Meyer.

The State also has an Adopt a Precinct program where poll workers can organize and dedicate their wages to the organization of their choice.
   
Meyer said," If you get three or four people and you say, 'Hey, we want to adopt this precinct at this school And we want all the money to go to the PTA at the school.' We're happy to do that. Or, we'll send it to a charity or a nonprofit or a food bank wherever you want us to send it to. Or, we'll just give you the check.”       

That’s Alaska Lt. Governor Kevin Meyer.

To register to vote or to request an absentee ballot, go to:
https://www.elections.alaska.gov/Core/votingbymail.php

For assistance with registration, voting in-person or absentee or finding your voting precinct, contact your local city or Borough clerk. Or go to the  City of Homer website:
https://www.cityofhomer-ak.gov/cityclerk/election-information-0

Look for new Borough precinct locations and information on voting in the Borough on their website: https://www.kpb.us/assembly-clerk/elections/about-us

To apply to be a poll worker, contact your City or Borough clerk.
Or, go to the State Division of Elections website:
https://www.elections.alaska.gov/Core/workers_poll.php