Alaska State Summary

October 23, 2014



Alaska is improving accessibility at polling places and the training of poll workers, but it should also implement vote centers and expand opportunities to vote before Election Day.

Unsatisfactory

States should adopt online voter registration (“OLVR”).

No online voter registration; new statewide system may be implemented some time in 2015.

Unsatisfactory

Interstate exchanges of voter information should be expanded.

Alaska is a member of the Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck (IVRC), but not of the Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC).

Unsatisfactory

States should seamlessly integrate voter data acquired through DMVs with their statewide voter registration lists.

Alaska does not appear to fully and electronically integrate voter data acquired through the DMV with its statewide voter registration list.

Unsatisfactory

Schools should be used as polling places; to address any related security concerns, Election Day should be an in-service day.

Alaska does not have statutory language regarding use of schools or types of buildings to be used as polling places.

Mixed

States should consider establishing vote centers to achieve economies of scale in polling place management while also facilitating voting at convenient locations.

Some jurisdictions in Alaska have absentee voter centers that have all 40 jurisdictions’ state ballots; some, but not all, are open for the duration of the entire early voting period.

Mixed

Jurisdictions should develop models and tools to assist them in effectively allocating resources across polling places.

Alaska has no statewide rule in place. However, we encourage jurisdictions to utilize the tools made available by the Commission. In 2012, voters waited an average of 3.7 minutes in line.

Mixed

Jurisdictions should transition to electronic pollbooks.

No jurisdictions in Alaska use electronic pollbooks, but they are moving toward using them in 2015.

Satisfactory

Jurisdictions should recruit public and private sector employees, as well as high school and college students, to become poll workers.

Alaska’s strong youth poll worker program, called the Youth Vote Ambassador Program, allows students age 16 or older to serve as poll workers, subject to training. We encourage election officials to establish robust programs to recruit public and private sector employees as well.

Satisfactory

States should institute poll worker training standards.

Alaska has statutory language prescribing training for poll workers, and its Division of Elections’ website posts training videos and manuals.

Mixed

Election authorities should establish advisory groups for voters with disabilities and for those with limited English proficiency.

No statewide statutory policy in place. Alaska does do important outreach to limited English proficient populations. We encourage Alaska to adopt this recommendation of the Commission.

Satisfactory

States and localities must adopt comprehensive management practices to assure accessible polling places.

Alaska uses a DOJ-issued accessibility checklist, and has training videos and manuals.

Satisfactory

States should survey and audit polling places to determine their accessibility.

Alaska Division of Elections conducts statewide surveys of polling places to check for Americans with Disabilities Act compliance; Alaska should consider making details regarding the frequency or extent of the program available online. Alaska has unique challenges with its rural populations, including ADA-compliant buildings.

Satisfactory

Jurisdictions should provide bilingual poll workers to any polling place with a significant number of voters who do not speak English.

Alaska (partially covered by Sec 203 of the Voting Rights Act), on its Elections Division website, states that on-call translators are available on Election Day, and that language assistance is also given through bilingual registrars, outreach workers, bilingual poll workers, and translations. We recommend that it add this language to its statutes.

Unsatisfactory

Jurisdictions should test all election materials for plain language and usability.

No statewide statutory policy in place.

Satisfactory

States should expand opportunities to vote before Election Day.

Alaska allows early voting and no-fault absentee voting.

Mixed

States should provide ballots and registration materials to military and overseas voters via their websites.

Alaska provides a link to the Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot (FWAB) on the Division of Elections website, but not the Federal Postcard Application (FPCA).

N/A

The standard-setting and certification process for voting machines must be reformed.

N/A; a federal matter.

Mixed

Audits of voting equipment must be conducted after each election as part of a comprehensive audit program, and data concerning machine performance must be publicly disclosed in a common data format.

Alaska requires post-election audits of voting machine equipment performance; however, because Alaska allows absentee voters to electronically transmit their ballots over the Internet, its elections are not fully auditable.

Mixed

Local jurisdictions should gather and report voting-related transaction data for the purpose of improving the voter experience.

Alaska captures some registration data according to age, and additional voter history data according to age and gender, but could do more with respect to data on wait times, frequent polling place problems, etc.

READ: Did We Fix That? 2014 Alaska State Summary


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