E-absentee voting in Alaska

This editorial first appeared in the Ketchikan Daily News:

With Monday’s presidential debate behind us, Alaskans are ready to vote.

For those who are away from home, that means voting by absentee ballot.

And, as of Monday, it can mean receiving and sending that ballot electronically.

Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell made the announcement Monday that Alaska voters anywhere in the world now can request a ballot by email or fax and have it within 48 hours. They can return their completed ballot not only by mail or fax, but, if they choose, by a secure Web-based ballot return system.

The system was launched last month for military and overseas voters. Others must wait until 15 days before the election to apply for electronic ballot delivery, according to the lieutenant governor’s office.

You can apply for online ballot delivery at http://www.elections.alaska.gov/doc/forms/C07GE.pdf

Fill out the form on the site, and then return it to the Division of Elections by mail, email or fax. The division then will send the ballot by the method you choose, in 24 to 48 hours.

In filling out the form, you’ll be asked to supply a physical address in Alaska; an identifier such as your voter ID number, date of birth, Social Security number, Alaska driver’s license or Alaska state ID card number; a telephone number where you can be reached if there are questions. You’ll need to sign the application — not electronically, but actually by hand — and then return it. That can be done by mailing a hard copy to Division of Elections, Absentee Voting Office, 619 E. Ship Creek Ave., Suite 329, Anchorage AK 99501-1677; faxing a hard copy to the office at the telephone number on the application; or scanning the signed document and emailing it as an attachment (PDF, tiff or jpg file) to the division at akabsentee(at)alaska.gov.

The Division of Elections must receive your request by 5 p.m. Nov. 5.

And here you thought the election would never get here.

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