Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Alaska Democrats Extend Mail-In Voting Window, Cancel In-Person Voting

On Monday, March 23, the Alaska Democratic Party issued a press release announcing changes to the April party-run primary the state party planned on conducting. Like Hawaii and Wyoming, gone is the in-person voting component. And like those other two (formerly) April 4 states, a pre-planned mail-in option is in place to fill the void.

And in Alaska, that mail-in option is being enhanced. Already registered Democrats in the Last Frontier were mailed a ballot in March if they were registered by February 19. But now some additional accommodations have been announced to buttress that earlier alternative. First, the deadline to have vote-by-mail ballots in to the party -- originally today, March 24 -- has been extended to April 10, six days after to original in-person voting was to have concluded on April 4. Results will now be announced on Saturday, April 11, a week later than the original Alaska Democratic delegate selection plan.

Second, the state party is also posting online a downloadable PDF ballot that registered Democrats in the state can use once they have verified their registration. [It is a short ballot with a long list of instructions.]

Both moves are intended to replace the in-person voting opportunity now lost to the coronavirus pandemic.

Importantly, the Alaska Democratic Party punted on any issues surrounding either the mid-April House district conventions and the May state convention. Those are still technically scheduled but the timing and process of each is being reviewed. State convention delegates elected at the House district conventions are the only ones eligible to be national convention delegates of any pledged variety. The state party will have to address how it will work around the possibility that any or all of those meetings will have to be canceled or held remotely.

Alaska Democratic Party press release on changes archived here.

No comments: