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Take a look at the two Alaska ballot measures

Published: Nov. 3, 2020 at 5:45 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Two ballot measures are on Alaskans' ballots regarding oil taxes and the state’s election processes.

Ballot Measure 1

Ballot Measure 1 asks Alaska voters to decide whether oil producers operating three legacy fields in the North Slope be required to pay more taxes than they do now.

If passed, Ballot Measure 1 would increase taxes for big oil by altering how the taxes are calculated. The new tax would only apply to specific fields, units and nonunionized reservoirs in the state — three legacy fields in particular — which have each produced more than 400 million barrels of oil over their lifetimes and more than 40,000 barrels of oil in the past year. For other production, taxes would remain the same, whether or not the measure passes, and continue to operate as they do now under Senate Bill 21.

The measure would also require companies to disclose their profits and the taxes they pay, information that is currently kept within the companies.

Additionally, companies could not develop new fields and deduct those costs from the taxes they pay on the legacy fields, which is currently allowed.

Those in support of the measure believe Alaska isn’t getting its fair share from the sale of its oil.

More than 39,000 Alaskans petitioned to get the measure on the ballot this year, according to a statement in support of Ballot Measure 1 submitted to the Division of Elections, with proponents claiming the measure will “fairly and transparently increase Alaskans' share of oil revenues” and give Alaskans the right to know important information by making tax filings public.

However, those opposed to the measure say it goes too far and would put the state’s entire economy at risk. In a pandemic, lawmakers against the measure have said the added taxes could not only damage the economy but would discourage new investors from coming into the state.

A statement in opposition to the measure maintains it “puts Alaska jobs, our economy, and our future at risk” and that “it is the wrong time to tax any industry in Alaska right now.”

READ MORE: Ballot measure has Alaskans at odds over taxes on oil producers

Ballot Measure 2

Ballot Measure 2 would change Alaska’s election process by implementing what’s known as a “ranked-choice voting system,” and alter the way campaign donations are disclosed.

The initiative, backed by Alaskans for Better Elections, has three main goals:

  1. Requiring both donors and campaigns to identify the source of donations over $2,000.
  2. Open Primaries: voters, regardless of party affiliation, to use a single ballot listing every candidate running for office in each race.
  3. Ranked-Choice Voting: voters would rank their candidates in order of preference. If a candidate wins a majority of first choices, they win. If not, the candidate with the fewest votes is eliminated; his or her voters' ballots are counted for their second choice. This process continues until a candidate wins a majority of votes.

Supporters of the initiative say the process will appeal to voters who are not registered with either major party and will truly identify the most preferred candidate.

Those against the measure say the system will create a false majority and give some voters preference over others by counting their votes more than once.

If adopted, ranked-choice voting will be implemented in state executive, legislative and congressional races, and for general elections, including the presidential election.

READ MORE: Alaskans to vote on ranked-choice voting system in November

Early results on both ballot measures are available here and will be updated as additional ballots are counted.

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