Alaska early voting kicks off for Nov. 8 general election

Oct. 25—Early & Absentee In-Person Voting

Early in-person voting kicked off in Alaska on Monday for the Nov. 8 general election.

Polling places opened in Anchorage, Palmer, Wasilla, Eagle River, Fairbanks, Soldotna, Homer, Juneau and Nome. Hours of operation and specific locations are available on the Alaska Division of Elections website.

Voters need to bring a form of ID such as a voter card, driver's license, or other document that lists their name and address.

Alaskans can also cast an absentee ballot in person, with election workers mailing off those ballots to the division's regional headquarters. From Akiak to Yakutat, the division had a list of over 140 polling locations available on its website.

The Division of Elections reported that over 47,000 Alaskans had requested an absentee ballot by Monday morning. During another non-presidential election four years ago, just under 28,000 Alaskans chose to vote that way.

"The numbers are pretty high for absentee voting by-mail or electronically at this point," said elections director Gail Fenumiai.

The deadline to request an absentee ballot is Oct.29, which can be done in Alaska for any reason. With concerns over COVID-19, a record number of Alaskans voted by mail in 2020.


Voters need to sign their by-mail ballots, and put one identifier on the envelope such as a social security number or birth date. A witness over the age of 18 must watch the voter sign the ballot envelope and then sign it themselves.

Early & Absentee In-Person Voting

Absentee ballots must be postmarked on or before Election Day to be counted. Alaskans will need to put 84 cents worth of postage on their by-mail ballots, but the United States Postal Service will still deliver them with less.

Two years ago, a pandemic-caused shortage of poll workers left elections officials scrambling to staff precincts across Alaska. Fenumiai said that wasn't the case this year, but at last check, the division was still looking for workers in Wainwright.

"It's all looking pretty good," she said.

Early voting will continue until Nov. 8. Polls will open on Election Day at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m.

The division decided to only do the ranked-choice tabulation process once it had received all absentee ballots, which can arrive at the division from overseas 15 days after the election. Meaning, in many races, it will be more than two weeks before clear results are known.