Alaska governor drafting elections reform bill

Legislation aims to change how election officials maintain voter rolls and and verify eligibility.

Updated: December 29, 2021 - 11:15pm

Gov. Mike Dunleavy and Lt. Gov. Kevin Myers are proposing changes to Alaska election laws they said would create a more secure system.

The two are drafting what they called an "election integrity" bill that changes how election officials maintain voter rolls and verify eligibility, according to a news release.

The proposed bill would give recipients of the state’s Permanent Fund Division an option to request voter registration instead of being automatically added to the rolls.

Election officials also would be required to check for voters who are deceased, are registered in other states or have felony convictions, and whether other reasons exist that would make residents ineligible to vote.

Myers said Americans became concerned about integrity after the 2020 elections.

"Alaskans deserve to feel confident that the election process is conducted fairly and with integrity,” Myers said. “At the end of the day, The Election Integrity bill will help place trust back into the election process.”

A signature verification system would be set up to verify absentee ballots. Mail-in ballots could be sent to residents, according to the news release.

The bill also would create a toll-free hotline for residents to report voter fraud, which would be better defined, according to the news release. Police would receive training on how to investigate voter fraud.

“We are making the current system more secure through improvements,” Dunleavy said in a statement. “By consolidating ideas from past bills introduced in the legislature and incorporating practices from other states, we hope to establish a more trustworthy elections system.”

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