I believe in the power of voting at the local, state and federal levels. I want everyone, regardless of party, to register, inform themselves about candidates and ballot measures and vote.
This page is divided into four sections – local, state, federal and troubleshooting. The troubleshooting section is provided because some places are harder to vote in others and people don’t always know their rights when they come to the voting booth.
Aside from the troubleshooting section, this guide is focused on people living in Juneau, Alaska. If you live elsewhere in Alaska, check out City and borough election information from Alaska Division of Elections for local election offices. If you live outside of Alaska, vote411.org from the League of Women Voters Education Fund is a great source of voting information.
In some ways, the city, school board and other local levels of government affect us the most. Yet few people vote in these elections. So important decisions about projects, new local laws and how children get educated get left to the fraction of us registered voters who show up to local elections.
Next Election: October 6, 2020
- Election Information (Assembly plus Juneau Board of Education)
- Sample Ballot (Not yet posted)
- Assembly and School Board Candidate Statements (When available) from CBJ elections site
- See what incumbents are saying and doing through local minutes:
Special note about Juneau Assembly elections. Any registered voter residing in Juneau can vote for ANY assembly candidates. While there are several Assembly districts, they are based candidate residency, not the district residency of the voter.
The state level is another area with big influences in our lives, as states can also set policies for cities and boroughs (county equivalents) to follow.
Note on 2020 Presidential candidate selections
In 2020, Republicans are not holding a primary. All Alaska delegates are pre-pledged to President Donald Trump. Democrats will choose a candidate using rank-choice voting in a party run primary on April 4, 2020.
Next state held election: August 18, 2020 (2020 Primary)
Even if you don’t want to vote for candidates, there may be ballot measure(s) for you to vote on. More information when the sample ballot gets posted.
Positions people in Juneau can vote for, depending on election:
- Lt. Governor
- State Senate Seat Q
- House District 33 (Downtown Juneau/Douglas/Haines/Skagway)
- House District 34 (Mendenhall Valley)
In addition to the above elected positions, we Alaskans have judicial retention elections. State judges are appointed, but are subject to a retention election every ten years. People in Juneau can vote on retaining the following judicial positions:
- Supreme Court
- Court of Appeals
- First Judicial District – Superior Court
- First Judicial District – District Court
Judges have enormous power and it is a privilege to be able to hold them accountable for their actions. The best information on how state judges have been conducting themselves can be found at the Alaska Judicial Council. I do my best to review all the information there on a given judge before casting my vote.
- Early and Absentee Voting Options – In Alaska, people can vote by mail through an absentee ballot for any reason.
Other election information
- Official Election Pamphlet – Juneau people use Region I
- KTOO Elections Page (Southeast Candidate profiles), plus election news.
Registration and ballots for federal elections are handled at the state level, so see the State section for how to register to vote in federal elections and sample ballots.
Next election: Same as State elections
Positions people in Juneau can vote for, depending on elections
- President (Actually voting for Electors who will elect President through Electoral College)
- Vice President (Actually voting for Electors who will elect President through Electoral College)
- US Senator
- US Representative (All Alaska votes for our lone representative. We’re all in a single US House District)
I’m having issues voting on Election Day
Hotlines: from the League of Women Voters, vote411.org:
- 1-866-OUR-VOTE (866-687-8683)
- 1-888-VE-Y-VOTA (en Español)
- 1-888-API-VOTE (Asian multilingual assistance)
- 1-844-418-1682 (Arabic)
I don’t know if I’m registered to vote
I don’t know my polling place
I can’t get to my polling place / Polling place lines are too long to wait
In Alaska, If you know far in advance you can’t make it to your polling place, request a by mail ballot. If it’s within two weeks of Election Day, there might be an early voting station closer to you (or on a bus line in an urban area). If it’s Election Day and you must have a car to get to your polling place, start by asking a friend who has one. Maybe you can get them to vote too! If that doesn’t work, try googling “free rides to polls” and your community name.
If you’re aware of Alaska entities offering free rides to polls on Election Day, let me know and I’ll add them here.
My state requires photo identification and I don’t have any
This actually isn’t a problem in Alaska as of 2019, according to the Division of Election’s Voting at the Polling Place Election Day. Here’s what it says about identification:
When approaching the election worker table, you will be asked for identification by the precinct register worker such as: Voter ID card, driver’s license, state ID, military ID, passport, hunting or fishing license or other current or valid photo ID.
NOTE: If you do not have the one of the identifications listed above, you may present a current utility bill or paycheck, government check or bank statement or other government issued document.
The lack of photo identification is a definite voting barrier in some states – cost, issuing offices few, far from neighborhoods and only open limited hours keep many people from obtaining photo identification.
If you live in a strict Photo ID state and you’re having cost, transportation or other trouble getting an ID, the organization Spread the Vote may be able to help get you a photo ID at no cost to you. If you’d like to support this work, Spread the Vote has a donation page.
I have a disability and need help in the voting booth
In Alaska, you may have someone assist you in the voting booth as long as that person is not “as long as that person is not a candidate, your employer, agent of your employer, or agent of your union.” For more information visit the Division of Election’s page on Accessibility Assistance Information.
My English is limited
The Voting Rights Act of 1965 requires states to provide language assistance to groups whose language is Spanish, Native American, Alaska Native, or one of the Asian languages if more than five percent of the voting age population speaks limited English.
As of 2018, Alaska provided election information and other voting assistance in Filipino (Tagalog), Spanish (Español), Yupik, Siberian Yupik, Inupiaq, Koyukon Athabascan, and Gwich’in Athabascan. For more information, visit the Division of Election’s Language Assistance page.
I’m an ex-con