Early voting opens for local elections at Rec Center

Early in-person voting for the Ketchikan Gateway Borough’s local elections opened this Monday, Sept. 20.

For the next two weeks, early in-person voting will be available at the Gateway Recreation Center from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The last day to vote early in person will be Oct. 5, the day before municipal elections.

Anyone who was registered to vote on or before Sept. 5 is eligible to vote early in person for the municipal election. (There is still time to register to vote in the Nov. 3 general election: that deadline is Sunday, Oct. 4.) All Alaskans who received an Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend this year were automatically registered to vote unless they indicated otherwise on their application. Voters do not need to provide a reason for voting early in person.

Alaskans can check their voter registration status at myvoterinformation.alaska.gov.

In previous years absentee in-person voting has been conducted at the borough and city clerks’ offices; the change has been made “for the convenience of voters and to allow for additional social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic,” according to the borough’s voting information pamphlet.

Individuals voting in person — whether voting early or on Oct. 6 — must show identification to election officials at their voting location. According to state statute, that identification includes all of the following: “an official voter registration card, driver's license, state identification card, current and valid photo identification, birth certificate, passport, or hunting or fishing license.”

Voters can also present identification in the form of “an original or a copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, paycheck, government check, or other government document” so long as it shows “the name and current address of the voter.” an item exhibited under this paragraph must show the name and current address of the voter,” per state statute.

Election officials may waive the identification requirement if they know the identity of the voter by both first and last name.

Voters registered to vote in the cities of Ketchikan or Saxman should expect to fill out separate ballots for city and borough elections. Sample ballots for the borough and City of Ketchikan elections can be found in the borough’s election pamphlet, available on the borough website at kgbak.us.

The Daily News anticipates publishing candidate responses to questions from the Daily News in future editions of the paper.

More information about the borough election, including the borough’s election information pamphlet can be found on the borough’s election website at kgbak.us/172/elections. City election information can be found on the city’s election website at ktn-ak.us/electionsvoting.