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Alaskans head to the polls for Election Day

Published: Nov. 3, 2020 at 4:04 PM AKST
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - Alaskans have utilized early voting and absentee voting by mail in larger numbers than the state has seen since at least 2004.

According to information from the Alaska Division of Elections website, more than 87,000 people voted by mail as of November 3rd, with more than 50,000 voting early in the state of Alaska.

This is compared to 22,355 mail-in ballots and 41,518 early votes in 2016.

Tiffany Montemayor, Public Relations Manager with the Alaska Division of Elections, explained that if a person is quarantined, they are still able to vote through use of a personal representative. “We have that option every election, and it’s for people who may be disabled due to age or illness or disability.”

She said, “You send a person to the polling place for you. They pick up a ballot, take it back to you, you vote it, and then they take it back to the polling place.” In order to avoid fraud, a special needs envelope is included with the ballot, which requires the voter to fill out personal information.

According to Montemayor, Alaska has laws regulating attire at polling places. “Here in Alaska, anybody who is doing any kind of campaigning, which includes wearing attire for a specific candidate or party, must do that at least 200 feet away from the polling place.” She added that this includes names, slogans and acronyms of slogans.

Montemayor went on to say that if someone violates this law and refuses to take off the relevant attire, their name is sent to law enforcement, according to statute 15.56.016(a)(2).

The Division of Elections has not received any complaints of unlawful activity regarding voting including voter fraud, suppression or intimidation. “I understand it’s not that way in other states, and so we’re really grateful and proud of Alaskan voters here who are taking voting seriously and being fair and just mindful of everyone else there at the polling places,” Montemayor explained.

She emphasized that polls closing at 8pm means that if a person is in line to vote by that time, they will be able to vote.

Polling locations can be found by visiting the Division of Elections website, or by typing your address into myvoterinformation.alaska.gov.

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