Hearing: House State Affairs Committee – Tuesday, March 28 – 3 PM
UPDATE: NO PUBLIC TESTIMONY ON THE 28TH – BE SURE TO WRITE OR EMAIL SUPPORT TO BRING THIS FORWARD.
HB 37 A – “ An Act relating to elections; relating to voters; relating to the crime of unlawful interference with voting; and providing for an effective date.”
Bill Sponsors: Representative Calvin Schrage, Representative Alyse Galvin
The LWVAK has written a letter of support for HB 37 based on these improvements in current Alaska election law. The bill would:
- Provide a prepaid envelope for absentee and mail-in ballots.
- Allow collection of actual or electronic signatures on registration applications to allow the Division of Election to verify the signatures on absentee, mail-in, or special needs ballots and do away with the requirement of a witness signature.
- Provide a ballot-curing procedure in a timely manner to allow voters who inadvertently make errors in their absentee or mail-in ballot envelope the opportunity to correct those errors or verify identity before the ballots are rejected. Ballot curing is currently available to voters in 24 other states and in Municipality of Anchorage mail-in elections.
The bill provides 46 amendments of current law including provisions. If you wish to review these changes, see the Sectional Analysis below or refer to the current version of HB37A. The high rate of rejection of ballots in the June 2022 special mail-in election highlighted the need for many of these improvements. The rejection rate overall was far above the national average of about 1%, with some rural Alaska districts and one urban one experiencing double digit rejection rates.
Who Will Speak for League? One of the LWVAK co-presidents will present our official LWVAK testimony, but all of you can and should act as concerned private citizens
What Can You Do?
- WRITE to the House State Affairs Committee atHouse.State.Affairs@akleg.org OR individual Committee members, Representative Laddie Shaw, Representative Stanley Wright, Representative Jamie Allard, Representative Jennie Armstrong, Representative Ben Carpenter, Representative Craig Johnson, or Representative Andi Story, please WRITE them, or CALL their offices. You can study the bill and point to provisions that you support, or you can simply write that you support the passage of HB 37A.
- TESTIFY for 2 minutes or less by visiting your local LIO, the Committee hearing in GRUENBERG 12 in Juneau, or by calling844-586-9085 at 3 PM on March 28.
- WRITE to your own representative if they are not on the House committee to make them aware of the bill and your support.
- ATTEND the hearing if you live in Juneau. Don’t care to give oral testimony? You can lend support simply by attending the committee hearing to show the legislators that there is strong interest in elections legislation.
If this bill moves forward, we will again be enlisting your support to contact others to support this bill, legislation that is a key to solving some of the problems with our Alaska elections.