Alaskans can now apply for absentee ballot online

Absentee ballot forms from the 2019 election. (File Photo/KTVF)
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) The State of Alaska Division of Elections (DOE) has launched a new Online Absentee Ballot Application System. As of June 24, those choosing to vote-by-mail can apply for an absentee ballot at absenteeballotapplication.alaska.gov.

This will allow voters to apply for the absentee ballot more efficiently, rather than mailing, emailing or faxing their application as in years past.

"It eliminates the paper work," Gail Fenumiai, Director of the Division of Elections said. "It is very similar to our online voter registration application."

Once the voter submits their online application, the DOE will schedule a review. If a voter does not have a valid and current Alaska driver's license or state ID, they may select to apply using the paper absentee ballot application option, according to a press release from the DOE.

"We had actually started talking about this last year, but we were implementing a new ballot tabulation system -- and so that took priority over other things," Fenumiai said. "In light of COVID, we thought this would be a good time to as well to get this pushed up on our priority list, and so our staff worked very hard on this and we now have a good tool available for people."

Voters will be able to register to vote or update their voter registration while requesting a mail-in ballot, and they can apply for all elections in a calendar year on the single application.

Fenumiai also added that the Online Absentee Ballot Application System will benefit both the voters and the DOE.

"It makes it easier for the voters because you don't have to download a form, you don't have to print it, you don't have to sign it, mail it or get it to the Division in another manner... saving the voters time. And it means they can do it from home," Fenumiai said. "The Division doesn't have to handle as many pieces of paper, open mail, batch applications by date received... so there is savings on both sides of the coin."

All applications for the new system must be received no later than 10 days before the date of an election.

Alaska has a no-excuse absentee voting law, meaning a voter does not need an excuse or reason to vote absentee or by mail.

If a voter is unsure whether or not they have already applied, application and ballot status can be found at myvoterinformation.alaska.gov.

Voters can contact the Absentee and Petition Office at (907) 270-2700 or akabsentee@alaska.gov for additional assistance.

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