Get Out the Native Vote: Vote Yes on the PFD Voter Initiative in November
A 2011 Alaska Divisions of Elections report found that approximately 70,000 Alaskans qualify for the Permanent Fund Dividend (PFD), but are not registered to vote. If Ballot Measure 1, the PFD voter registration ballot initiative, is passed in the general election on November 8, all PFD applicants would automatically have their address and voter registration updated with the Division of Elections. The ballot initiative includes an opt-out feature, so that a PFD applicant may decline to be registered to vote.
The PFD voter registration would also:
- Prevent voter registration fraud. The PFD division conducts a comprehensive fraud detection analysis and, if passed, the initiative will allow the Division of Elections to benefit from the detection work already underway.
- Save the state money. Currently, 83 percent of PFD applicants file their application online. A Pew study has shown that electronic registrations cost 10 times less than paper processing.
- Improve registration accuracy. Online voter registration drastically reduces the potential for data entry errors that can happen in the paper processing transfer.
- Make government spending more efficient. The PFD voter registration would reduce the workload at the Division of Elections while making the dollars already spent on PFD application processing go further.
“By voting yes on Ballot Measure 1, Alaskans would be supporting a safe, cost-effective and accurate way to update and apply for voter registration through the PFD application process,” said Aaron Schutt, PFD voter initiative co-chair and president/CEO of Doyon, Limited.
As the initiative would reduce the number of required forms to complete, it would also make voting easier, especially for young Alaskans, new residents, non-English speakers, members of the military, and Alaskans with disabilities. Plus, voters living in rural Alaska would be able to vote an absentee ballot and participate in early voting if there was not a polling place readily available on Election Day.
Voters who have trouble getting to the polls on Election Day may have a personal representative pick up a special needs ballot at any early/in-person voting site beginning 15 days prior to Election Day. The ballot can also be obtained and turned in on Election Day by anyone other than candidates running for office. For more information for Alaska voters, visit www.elections.alaska.gov.