Exercise your right and responsibility to vote Leave a comment

It is one of the pleasures of the job of the Municipal Clerk every year to ask Anchorage voters to participate in the Municipal Election — this year on April 6, 2021. One of the most beautiful phrases I’ve found in the Alaska Constitution states that “… all persons have corresponding obligations to the people and to the State.” Obligations — an interesting word that suggests we have duties to our fellow citizens in Anchorage and to the state of Alaska that we call home. I believe that all of us can find pleasure in fulfilling this civic responsibility and important obligation by having a say in our government through exercising the right to vote. And in these difficult times, I think it is as important as ever to make your voice heard by voting.

We often fail to believe that as individuals we have the power to change our community or world, but in Alaska elections, we know there are many races and issues that have been decided by small margins; please find the time to use the power that every one of us has to vote. In municipal elections, our decision to vote has a big impact on people’s daily lives. The issues on the ballot — bonds for parks and roads and police and fire, as well as the candidates we elect for mayor, school board, and service areas boards — have a big impact and shape the immediate future of our community. Voters can learn more about the races and ballot propositions by looking on the Municipal Elections website, reading the League of Women Voters of Anchorage Ballot Review, or by calling the Voter Hotline at 907-243-VOTE (8683).

The MOA Elections Team reminds voters 1. to vote their ballot; 2. put the voted ballot in the secrecy sleeve and then in the ballot return envelope; and 3, mail the ballot return envelope with first-class postage through the USPS; or, save postage and place the ballot return envelope in one of the 18 secure drop boxes placed throughout Anchorage. A map with the location to the secure drop boxes can be found on the Elections website at www.muni.org/elections; or call the Voter Hotline at 907-243-VOTE (8683) and we’ll direct you to the nearest secure drop box.

Voters may vote in person at one of the three Anchorage Vote Centers if voters lost or damaged their ballot, didn’t receive a mailed ballot, or prefer to vote in person. Voters must have proper identification to vote in person at an Anchorage Vote Center. The three Anchorage Vote Centers — at City Hall, the Loussac Library, and the Eagle River Town Center — have extended hours in 2021 and are open until 6 p.m. on Monday, April 5 and from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Election Day — Tuesday, April 6. Voters can call the Voter Hotline at 907-243-VOTE (8683) or search the online map at www.muni.org/elections/dropbox to find the location of the Vote Center.

Voters who need assistance should call the Voter Hotline at 907-243-VOTE (8683). Voters who are elderly, have a disability, are hospitalized, are sick or have a positive COVID-19 test, may vote a Special Needs Ballot. Voters should call the Voter Hotline at 907-243-VOTE (8683) to request a Special Needs Ballot to be delivered to them. Election officials will deliver a ballot to the voter, allow the voter to vote in privacy, then return the ballot to the Election Center.

Don’t forget to drop off or send your ballot return envelope no later than April 6. You can return your ballot to a secure drop box up until 8 p.m. on Election Night. Again, use first-class postage — which amounts to $0.55 — to mail your ballot on or before Election Day. If you are mailing your ballot on April 5 or April 6, please ask a postal worker to hand-cancel — postmark by hand — your return envelope to make sure it is marked with the correct day in order for your vote to be counted.

In these difficult and uncertain times, find some pleasure in the routine and tradition of voting, of fulfilling a civic obligation and supporting your community, chose to exercise your right and responsibility to vote in the April 6, 2021 Regular Municipal Election!

Barbara A. Jones serves as Municipal Clerk for the Municipality of Anchorage.

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