Due to deadlines, PFD applications won't register voters in time for Muni election

 PFD Checks
PFD Checks (KTUU)
Published: Feb. 23, 2018 at 12:25 PM AKST
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There's a time of year that all Alaskans know well - Permanent Fund Dividend application season. Whether you're the type who gets their application done early, or the type that frantically rushes in the final days, the clock is ticking down to the March 31 deadline.

Last year, Ballot Measure 1 passed by a large margin, making 2018 the first year all eligible Alaskans will be automatically registered to vote, or have their registration automatically updated, when they apply for their PFD.

This year, those looking to kill two birds with one stone, getting their registration taken care of in time for the upcoming Anchorage April election at the same time as applying for their dividend, will find that they are unable to do so. That's because of a 30-day opt-out period and another, mandatory 30-day waiting period with the Division of Elections.

Basically, the PFD deadline is March 31, and even if a resident applied now, they would be subjected to a 30 day period in which they could opt out of automatic voter registration. Assuming they wanted to register via their PFD application, and waived the 30 opt-out period, they would still be hit with the mandatory waiting period, pushing their registration into mid or late March, missing the deadline to vote in the upcoming election.

According to Carol Thompson with the division's absentee and petition office, applicants who applied for a PFD in 2018 will not be imported by the March 4 voter registration deadline because of this.

"The division [is required] to wait an additional 30-days before importing the data into the voter registration database maintained by the division, Thompson said.

If a voter under this circumstance were an early bird PFD applier, they could have potentially made the deadline, but as of this filing, according to the division, it's already too late.