AARP Alaska creates voter guide for 2022 elections

Published: Jul. 20, 2022 at 4:53 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - On August 16, Alaska will be holding a special election to determine who fills the rest of the late Don Young’s seat in the US House of Representatives.

At the same time, a primary election will cover a number of races, including nearly all state legislative seats, one of Alaska’s US Senate seats, and the position of Governor.

Because this year also marks the start of a new voting system in Alaska, the AARP is reaching out to voters over the age of 50 to provide education about what to expect on the ballot.

“There is a lot to know for the upcoming election process,” said Katie Severin, Associate State Director for Communications for AARP Alaska.

To help educate voters, AARP Alaska has created a voter guide “that has plenty of information about what voters need to know about what will be on those primary and then the general election ballot.”

AARP advises voters to remember that the ballot on August 16 will contain both a primary election and a special election.

The primary election will involve choosing one candidate in each race.

The special election will only have 3 candidates, who can be ranked. “It’s highly recommended, from our perspective, that all voters be familiar with the format for the ranked choice voting election happening, again, both on August 16, but then also in the general election on November 8,” Severin explained.

In the November election, all state races will be ranked-choice.

Voters are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the grid system used for ranked choice voting. According to Severin, “You should have just a single candidate as your first choice, second choice, third choice, and you want to ensure that you’re not listing a candidate in multiple rows.”

Meanwhile, redistricting from the 2020 US Census results have changed some voters’ districts and polling locations. “We just want voters to be aware of that and to ensure that they know where their polling place will be when election day comes.”

AARP has heard from voters 50 years and older about which issues are key for them in the upcoming elections.

These topics include affordable and accessible housing, support for family caregivers, and fuel prices.

The organization does not endorse candidates. “AARP is a completely nonpartisan organization, and so the information that we are providing is purely to help voters, particularly the 50 plus, ensure that they are empowered to make their voices heard.”

AARP will also be hosting a telephone town hall with election officials on August 1.

The voter guide can be found here.

And the organization is preparing a ranked-choice voting guide, which when completed will also be on their website.

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