Deadline to register to vote in primary election approaching

voter at the JACC

A primary voter fills out a ballot at the Juneau Arts and Culture Center on Aug. 19, 2014. (Photo by Jeremy Hsieh/KTOO)

Voting season is fast approaching starting with the primary election August 21.

Parties will choose their candidates for U.S. House of Representatives, governor and lieutenant governor, state Senate and district representative.

“In order to vote in that election, you need to be registered in the precinct where you reside by July 22nd,” said Ketchikan Gateway Borough Clerk Kacie Paxton.

Many options are available for registering.

“We try to make voter registration as easy as possible for voters and potential voters,” she said. “You can pick up a form at the borough clerk’s office, in the library, at the city clerk’s office, and they’re available on the Division of Elections website which is elections.dot.alaska.gov.”

To vote in Alaska, you must be a U.S. citizen, a resident of Alaska, and 18 years or older on Election Day. On your application you must provide a physical residence address, proof of identify and date of birth.

Proof of identity includes a Social Security card, Alaska driver’s license or state ID card, passport or birth certificate.

A political affiliation must be selected when registering. Paxton said this determines which primary ballot a voter can choose.

“The Primary Election in August, which is a state election, is a closed primary for the Republican Party. And so in order to vote for the Republican ballot, you have to be registered nonpartisan, undeclared or Republican. And that’s decided on by the party. All other candidates and parties will be on the other ballot, so it will contain Democratic Party, Libertarian Party and Independence Party.”

Paxton said the Independence Party is different from being independent.

“If you register as an Independent, it does not mean the same as nonpartisan. Independent is an actual party. If you’re registered as Independent, your only choice in the primary would be the ballot that contains Democratic, Libertarian, Independent and other parties.”

Registered voters wanting to change party affiliation before the primary election must do so by the July 22 deadline.

In addition to the August primary, municipal elections are in October, and the general election is in November.

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