Voter Registration Rally clarifies process

Confused about all the upcoming elections this fall? Want to know more about the voting process?

Go to the Voter Registration Rally Thursday in Juneau.

It’s part of the nationwide Native Vote Action Week, with a number of events being held in Alaska to increase voter turnout.

Juneau’s is sponsored by Tlingit and Haida Central Council and Sealaska. It will be held at Elizabeth Peratrovich Hall.

Organizer Nicole Hallingstad says it’s open to all Juneau residents, but the primary goal is to increase the number of Alaska Natives who vote.

While 70 percent of Sealaska shareholders over age 18 living in the state are registered, that doesn’t mean they actually vote.

“We hope to increase the understanding in the Alaska Native population that your vote literally is the source of our collective strength,” Hallingstad says.

People who need to register to vote, update their current registration, or want to learn more about the election process should attend, she says. Many people never register, and many others register but never go to the polls, because voting is an unfamiliar process.

“So we’ll actually have standing ballot booths that are exactly like those you’d see at any balloting station,” Hallingstad days. “People can get a mock ballot. They can get familiar with the process of showing their ID, casting their ballot and going through the act of electing to try to increase familiarity, reduce some of the fear or uncertainty around that process, and get people more comfortable with voting.”

The Voter Registration Rally is from 4 to 8 p.m. Thursday at Elizabeth Peratrovich Hall on Willoughby Avenue.