Elections workers ready for challenge of write-in election

Posted: Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Polling places will be open for 13 hours Tuesday, starting at 7 a.m. and closing at 8 p.m. for today's general election.

For Juneau voters, polling places will remain the same as they were in the August primary election, but there's been at least one change since the last statewide general election.

Voters will be asked to decide races for the U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives and Alaska's governor and lieutenant governor.

Three ballot measures, including bonding for education projects around the state, bonding for veterans' loans and expansion of the Alaska Legislature will also be provided.

All three members of Juneau's legislative delegation are seeking to retain their current positions, but the outcome of those races is a foregone conclusion as the opposing party produced no challengers for any of them.

This year's election also features the most organized write-in candidacy in recent years, with Republican incumbent Lisa Murkowski trying to keep her seat in the U.S. Senate after losing the primary to Joe Miller. The Democratic nominee is Scott McAdams of Sitka.

The campaigns have been battling in court over the process for informing voters who is registered as a write-in.

Alyce Houston, regional elections supervisor for Southeast, said that the list of those registered with the state as write-in candidates will be made available on request.

"We have provided a write-in list to each polling place," she said.

The list will only be made available to those who have a question that the list may help answer, she said.

"Absolutely the list will not be posted," she said.

Campaigning at the polls is not allowed, and that refers to campaign buttons as well, she said. The Murkowski campaign has provided its supporters with wristbands with the spelling of her name, which Houston said elections rules allow as long as it can't be seen by others.

"It is not to be visible," she said.

If it can be seen "we'll ask them to remove it or hide it" Houston said.

In Juneau, there has been only a single change in polling places since the 2008 general election. Precinct No. 2, which in 2008 moved from the Cathedral of the Nativity to the Juneau Arts & Culture Center, will move this year to the Holy Trinity Church at 325 Gold Street.

Precinct No. 1 will continue to vote at the Juneau Arts & Culture Center. In 2008 both precincts voted at the center, the only polling place in the city where two precincts voted at the same location. This election there will be no combined precincts.

Voter identification needed at the polls is either a signed voter ID card, driver's license, state ID, military ID or other current or valid photo identification. Voters may also use another form of identification if it includes name and current address, such as a current utility bill or pay check.

• Contact reporter Pat Forgey at 523-2250 or patrick.forgey@juneauempire.com.

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