Borough Assembly votes 5-4 opposing voter suppression bills

Fairbanks North Star Borough Assembly Building
Fairbanks North Star Borough Assembly Building(Alex Bengel/KTVF)
Published: Apr. 9, 2021 at 4:54 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - The Fairbanks North Star Borough Assembly voted Thursday night to oppose legislative bills that restrict voter access for Alaskans.

In a split vote of 5 to 4, the assembly passed a substituted version of Resolution 2021-05.

The resolution originally included specific references to State Senator Mike Shower’s Senate Bill 39.

However, after meeting with Shower, the language of the resolution was changed to broadly oppose bills seen as restrictive against voting.

Seat A Assembly Member Marna Sanford, who voted in favor of the resolution, said, “I want people to be able to vote, and I want when people finally decide to be interested enough in what’s happening around them that they go to the polls, that they’re able to vote with the I.D. that they’re carrying or not carrying, with the maybe last minute voter registration ability, I want them to be able to do that because that is something that is most important about our country that we live in.”

Voting against the resolution were Jimi Cash, Aaron Lojewski, Frank Tomaszewski and Tammie Wilson.

Members debated over the use of the word “suppression” to describe these laws.

Cash said, “I don’t know a single person, Republican or Democrat, Libertarian, anything, that wants to stop somebody who’s legally allowed to vote from voting. We just want to make sure that the people who are voting are legally allowed to vote, that they’re not felons, that they’re not voting twice, that they’re not voting for their grandma, whatever... that the person voting is actually the person who’s supposed to be voting.”

Copies of this resolution will next be given to Governor Mike Dunleavy, Lieutenant Governor Kevin Meyer, and Division of Elections Director Gail Fenumiai.

It will also be distributed to each member of the Alaska Legislature.

At the meeting, the Assembly also heard a presentation from the Mayor’s Office on the proposed 2021-2022 budget.

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