In 2018, the Municipality of Anchorage will move to a brand new voting system where voters can vote by mail rather than by in-person polling precincts as in the past. Check out the full Vote by Mail FAQ So far, this will not affect state and federal elections, only elections held by the Municipality of Anchorage. This change was approved by the Anchorage Assembly in 2015 and implemented as a way to save the costs of replacing aging election equipment, make voting easier so people can vote from the comfort of their home and increase participation in local elections.
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In a vote-by-mail election, the city will automatically mail ballots to every registered voter in Anchorage. Voters would no longer visit a polling precinct on Election Day to fill out a ballot.
The change would mean that instead of 122 polling precincts, the city would offer a few accessible voting centers, or voters can return ballots by mailing them to the city, dropping them in a drop box or leaving them at one of the voting locations. The Municipality of Anchorage has posted lots of helpful information to answer questions about the new voting system.
Automatic Voter Registration
In 2016, Alaska voters approved Ballot Measure 1, which implemented automatic voter registration throughout the state. The measure now requires the state to automatically send information from the Permanent Dividend Fund (PFD), to the voter registration rolls. The PFD is open to all Alaskans who have lived in the state for an entire year and plan to live in the state indefinitely. Under the new rule, new voters will be registered and existing voter registration information will be updated when information is updated along with the PFD updates. This new system makes participation in elections easier for Alaskans since there will no longer be a requirement to register to vote or fix personal information 30 days in advance of the election as in the past. Now, updates will happen to the voter file as people make updates to PFD data.