Alaskans have until June 11 to mail in their US House ballot

A voter leaves their booth in Sitka during this year’s election. (Berett Wilber/KCAW)

Voting has begun in the special primary election to fill the late Rep. Don Young’s seat in the U.S. House.

Here are some deadlines to keep in mind:

May 12: Deadline to register to vote

The deadline to register to vote or update your mailing address to receive a ballot is Thursday, May 12. The special primary election is Alaska’s first state-wide by-mail election, and ballots have already been mailed out. If you have not yet received one, it could mean that you need to update your voter registration or mailing address.

You can do that online at the Alaska Division of Elections website or by contacting your regional elections office.

How to fill out your ballot

Forty-eight candidates appear on the ballot. To vote, pick one candidate by filling in the bubble next to their name with blue or black ink. Then place the ballot in the secrecy sleeve and seal it in its pre-addressed, pre-paid envelope. You must sign the outside of the envelope, and a witness who is age 18 or older must also sign below your name.

The witness only needs to observe you signing your envelope. No one should watch you fill out your ballot. That’s a private act.

The four candidates who receive the most votes in the special primary election will appear on the Aug. 16 special general election ballot. Voters will use ranked choice voting in that election.

June 11: Deadline to postmark ballot

All ballots must be postmarked by Saturday, June 11. Many rural post offices are not open on Saturdays and many send their mail to Anchorage for postmark, so voting officials recommend mailing ballots early.

Bethel Postmaster Alan Murphy said that the Bethel post office will be postmarking ballots on June 11. He recommends that voters ask a postal worker to postmark their ballot that day.

If you damage or lose your ballot, you can contact your regional Alaska Division of Elections office for a replacement.

Voting In-Person 

In many communities, you can vote in-person. Absentee in-person voting will occur May 27 to June 10.

Helpful Links and Information:

List of 48 candidates for Special Primary Election:

Sample ballot for June 11 Special Primary Election:

Check your voter registration information:

Update your voter registration:

Alaska’s ballot counting process:

Alaska Division of Elections:

Learn about ranked choice voting:

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Anna Rose MacArthur is a reporter at KYUK in Bethel.

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