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Early voting opens today statewide

Sabine Poux
/
KDLL

Voting for this year’s statewide elections begins today at community centers, schools and election offices all over Alaska.

Voters will rank their favorite candidates for governor, U.S. House and Senate, and state House and Senate. They’ll also vote on a once-a-decade question about whether to hold a constitutional convention, plus whether judges on state courts should continue to hold their jobs.

Registered voters must bring some form of ID to the polls. That can be a driver’s license, state ID card, passport, birth certificate, military ID or a hunting or fishing license. Alternatively, voters can provide a utility bill, bank statement, paycheck or a government document with their name and current address.

There are five locations for early or absentee in-person voting in the Kenai Peninsula Borough, in each of the cities in the borough. In Soldotna, early voting is open at the old Soldotna Prep building, and in Kenai, ballots are available at the Kenai City Clerk’s Office. Early voting is also open at the Homer City Clerk’s Office, and ballots are available at the Seward City Clerk’s Office and Seldovia City Clerk’s Office.

This is the first statewide general election in Alaska that will use ranked choice voting, a system Alaska voters approved back in 2020.

Cathleen Rolph is the co-president of the Central Kenai Peninsula League of Women Voters, a non-partisan organization that works to register voters and protect voting rights. Rolph said the establishment of ranked choice voting gives voters the chance to weigh in on multiple candidates and expands bipartisan campaigning.

“It’s just good because it makes the candidates reach out to more than just their party. Many other states are pushing to have ranked choice voting also, so I think we’re doing the right thing,” she said.

Rolph said turnout has been low in recent elections, including this month’s municipal election, but she’s seen lots of campaigning and media coverage this year, and is feeling hopeful. She said voters need to remember that they have a constitutional right to vote.

Any Alaska voter can vote by mail. Voters can apply for a mail-in ballot at AbsenteeBallotApplication.alaska.gov through Saturday. Absentee ballots must be postmarked by Election Day, on Nov. 8.

That’s also the last day to vote. Polls all over the state will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Employers are required by law to give employees time off to vote.

A list of all early voting locations and addresses can be found online at elections.alaska.gov.

You can learn more about all of the local candidates by checking out the candidate forums hosted weekly by KDLL and the Peninsula Clarion. All of the past forums are available at KDLL.org in our Kenai Conversation series, or on The Clarion’s Facebook page.

Next Monday, Oct. 31, we’ll host our final forum, with candidates for State Senate District C. All of the forums can be attended in person on Mondays from 6 to 7 p.m. at the Soldotna Public Library.

KRBD’s Eric Stone contributed reporting.

Riley Board is a Report For America participant and senior reporter at KDLL covering rural communities on the central Kenai Peninsula.
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