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As election day approaches, here’s what voters need to know

Voters at Old St. Joe's, Nome, Alaska
Voters cast their ballots at Old St. Joe's. Photo: Emily Russell, KNOM.

Alaska’s much anticipated Special Primary Election to fill the state’s sole U.S. House of Representatives’ seat is taking place June 11.

Here’s what you need to know:

The election is by mail. Alaska Division of Elections has been sending out ballots since April 27. If you registered to vote before the registry deadline of May 12, but did not receive your ballot, you will need to call the Division of Elections regional office in Nome in order to get a replacement. 

The Division mailed out its last round of ballots on June 1.  If you have received your ballot, but have yet to mail it in, it must be postmarked on or before June 11 in order to be valid.

There are a few other details that need to be included in order for the ballot to count.

“That ballot needs to have their signature and an identifier, which can be their date of birth, a driver’s license number, or their state of Alaska ID number, or the last four (digits) of their social security number.  And it absolutely must have a witness signature,” Division of Election’s Public Relations Manager Tiffany Montemayor said.

All Alaskan voters will get the same ballot with all 48 candidates are included on each.  Voters are to select only one candidate. The four candidates who receive the most votes in this special primary advance to the next election on Aug. 16. That election will be a ranked choice election, with voters ranking each of the four candidates by preference.

Voters who would rather vote in-person do have that opportunity. There are 170 sites throughout the state at which Alaskans can vote in-person. Just make sure to bring ID and to check the hours of operation of the voting location. Any voter who chooses may turn in the ballot they received by mail at an in-person voting location.

In Nome, the in-person polling place is the Division of Elections Region 4 Office, which is located at 214 Front St. Suite 130. It will be open to voters for early voting through June 10 and on election day, June 11, from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

The final ballot count for the Special Primary Election will be on June the 21, with the target certification date on June 25. The Primary Election for the top four vote getters will be held on Aug. 16.

Image at top: Voters cast their ballots at Old St. Joe’s during a 2015 election. Photo by Emily Russell, KNOM.

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