Absentee voting will be popular this year.
It’s worked in Alaska for years; it’ll work this year — likely even better in terms of voter participation.
Two elections are on the agenda. The primary is scheduled for Aug. 18 and the general election for Nov. 3.
With the rise in novel coronavirus cases in Alaska of late — largely due to travel and much related to seasonal industry that will operate at least through August and into September — some voters may not be able to vote in person. Or, because of COVID-19, some voters might choose an absentee ballot.
Absentee ballots are available by mail.
The mail option will be appealing as long as COVID is around. Voters can submit an application and receive absentee ballots for both the primary and general elections by mail. Then, they can mail the completed ballots back to the state.
They also can opt out of mail voting for any elections that they indicate on the application.
Still, if a voter opts to avoid the mail, an absentee ballot can be voted at city and borough clerks’ offices up to two weeks before an Election Day. Or, traditional, in-person voting is a third option.
But traditional voting might take longer because of the responses to the virus. The state expects fewer poll workers and fewer voting booths to be available. Social distancing will be observed at polling places.
Of course, depending on COVID, any election procedures can be changed if necessary to maintain public health and safety.
Voting information is available at http://www.elections.alaska.gov., including the absentee ballot application.
Plan now to vote.