Surprising reaction to electoral voting


Posted: Sunday, January 07, 2001

A couple of folks have written letters to the editor regarding the decision by the Division of Elections to hold the meeting of Alaska's electors in Anchorage rather than Juneau on Dec. 18.

Alaska law states that the electors will meet at the office of the director or other place designated by the director. Alaska's electors have sometimes met in Juneau and sometimes in Anchorage. In 1996 the electors met in Juneau, and in 1988 and 1992, they met in Anchorage. And, because all three electors this past year lived in Anchorage, we decided to hold the meeting there for their convenience and to reduce travel expenses.

There has been unprecedented interest in the Electoral College this year because the presidential election was so close. This attention has increased people's understanding of the significance of this step in the process. In 1996 the electors voted at Juneau-Douglas High School. Very few people attended. In 2000 the electors voted at the Anchorage Library. About 200 people attended and after the ceremony a spirited discussion was held on the merits of the Electoral College. Participating in it were Sen. Ted Stevens, the electors, high-school students and the general public.

As the person who is responsible for deciding where to hold the ceremony, I was surprised by the letters to the editor. When the event was previously held in Anchorage, nobody from Juneau lodged any protest with the Division of Elections.

Janet Kowalski, Director

Alaska Division of Elections

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