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House lawmakers discuss changes to the state's absentee ballot process

(Source: MGN)
(Source: MGN)
Published: Feb. 10, 2020 at 5:37 PM AKST
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On Monday, the Alaska House of Representatives spent much of their morning floor session discussing

. The bill is written with intent to allow Alaskan voters to sign up to receive absentee ballots by mail on an indefinite basis.

As written, the legislation specifies that voters would not be required to reapply to receive an absentee ballot by mail, unless:

"The voter has not voted an absentee ballot for a period of four years;" -or- "The voter's previous absentee ballot sent under this section was returned to the division as undeliverable."

Several amendments were rejected on Monday, including but not limited to:

-adding options for voters to clarify which specific election they want mail-in ballots for.

-removing the specified 4 year period in which voters can remain inactive and still receive a ballot.

-an addition that would have left current residents responsible for proving whether a ballot recipient no longer lives at their address.

-a suggestion that all municipal and state election schedules should be aligned, and take place in the fall.

The only amendment to pass on Monday was a change of the effective starting date, from Jan 2020 to Jan 2021. The bill has been set aside, to be taken up during a later floor session.

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