This post is contributed by LWVJ member Chris Niemi.
While listening to the radio the day before our primary election, a KINY radio announcer said that picture ID was required to vote. Shocked, I called the radio station and was told that photo ID would “speed up the process”. The announcer misinformed the public at least twice while I listened. On the day of the primary election, the Juneau Empire ran an article “Quiet primary predicted for Juneau”. The article said in part, “Voters should be prepared to bring a photo ID to the polls”. The only alternatives to photo ID mentioned in the article were if the voter was “personally known by the poll worker”, if not known then the voter would “vote a questioned ballot”. These are not the only alternatives. While our radio stations and local newspapers work with diligence to get information out to the public, sadly, the information sometimes is lacking in accuracy.
The deadline to register to vote in our November general election is October 9, 2016. All three of our city public libraries in Douglas, downtown Juneau and the Valley are voter registration sites as well as our Region I Elections Office 465-3021 or toll free (866) 948-8683 in the Mendenhall Mall annex and the Election Director’s Office, in the (Spam Can) Court Plaza Building and on line by going to Alaska Division of Elections. The Alaska Division of Elections site is extensive and will answer your questions about voter registration, voting and polling place locations. If you can’t go to your polling place on election day, there are many voting options.
On primary election day, my polling location included an extensive list of voter ID options. A few are: voter registration card, birth certificate, social security card and fish & game license. Did you know that once you are registered, you may present your current utility bill or credit union/bank statement if it includes your name and current address?