Election Review Recommends Changes

Focuses on Military Voting

IMMEDIATE RELEASE No. 11-010

2010 Election Review Recommends Changes to Procedures and Law

Focuses on Making it Easier for Military to Vote

April 1, 2011, Anchorage, AK – Lieutenant Governor Mead Treadwell announced today that an internal review of Alaska’s historic 2010 election is complete. The report recommends 34 changes in election procedures to strengthen ballot security, improve public notice of election procedures, and improve poll worker training.

“One focus of the changes we recommend as a result of this review is to make it easier for Alaskans serving in the military to vote,” Treadwell said. “Those recommendations include changing the date of the primary to make sure ballots for a general election can be in the mail in time for service members overseas, allowing other electronic forms of transmission – besides faxes – of ballots back to Alaska, and working with the Redistricting Board and the Department of Defense to facilitate reopening of polling places on Alaska’s military bases.”

The review, conducted by the Office of the Lieutenant Governor, the Division of Elections, and the Department of Law, includes an analysis of state election laws and procedures and incorporates comments and questions received from stakeholders and the public. The review also recommends:

• Changing Alaska statutes to clarify procedures for counting write-in ballots, and ensuring law on voter intent is consistent with Supreme Court rulings;

• Changing Alaska statutes to make the declaration of write-in candidacy voluntary, but moving the deadline for that declaration to 21 days before a general election; and

• Continuing an independent, third-party study on ballot security by the University of Alaska originated by former Lieutenant Governor Sean Parnell.

“None of the changes in statute or procedure suggested by our review would have changed the results of the 2010 election,” Lt. Governor Treadwell said. “They will, however, respond to the concerns of Alaska voters and streamline procedures in the future. Alaskans can be confident that their voices and votes were heard and accounted for.”

Treadwell said that the Division of Elections is working with the Legislature as it makes amendments to election law this session.

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The Election Review Report is available online: http://ltgov.alaska.gov/treadwell_media/2011.04.01%202010%20General%20Election%20Review.pdf

Media Availability: Friday, April 1, 2011, 1:00pm, Governor’s Conference Room, 550 West Seventh Avenue, Suite 1700, Anchorage, AK | Teleconference: 1-800-315-6338, access code 0101#