More than 7500 Absentee/By-Mail Ballots were rejected in the August Primary, more than half due to not having a witness signature.

More than double the number of absentee/by-mail ballots were rejected in the August primary over 2020 elections. The biggest reason absentee/by-mail ballots were rejected was that they did not have a witness signature. A witness signature was not required in 2020 due to a temporary rule change for Covid, but it is back in effect now.  The second biggest reason was mailing or delivering the ballot too late. It must be postmarked on election day or delivered to a voting location on election day. The third was not having a proper voter identifier on the ballot envelope. A proper identifier may be the last 4 digits of the voter’s social security number, or an Alaskan Drivers License or State ID.

Here is a brief checklist from the Division of Elections on what is required on the outside of your Absentee/by-mail envelope.

  • In the presence of your witness, sign your ballot envelope and provide at least ONE identifier. Then have your witness sign the ballot envelope.
  • Secure your ballot by folding over the flap and sealing the flap at the top and the bottom.
  • Apply the correct amount of postage to the return envelope. Postal amount will be provided with the instructions.
  • Mail your ballot. It must be postmarked on or before Election Day.

There are many steps to follow when voting Absentee/by-mail so read all of the instructions. If you do not understand what to do, call the Division of Elections and they will help you. And always remember to put your voted ballot in its secrecy sleeve and then place the two inside your voting envelope.

Click below to the Division of Elections website that contains information on voting Absentee/by-mail. This website also includes video instructions.

Click below to read an article on the issue by Alaska Public Media:
Alaska rejected more than 7,500 ballots in the US House special primary. Here’s why. – Alaska Public Media