League Points to Ponder: Photo ID not required to vote

Editor’s note: League Points to Ponder will be a regular segments by members of the Juneau League of Women Voters published in the Empire during election season.

While listening to the radio the day before our primary election, a KINY radio announcer said that a picture ID was required to vote. Shocked, I called the radio station and was told that photo ID would “speed up the process.” The announcer misinformed the public at least twice while I listened.

On the day of the primary election, the Juneau Empire ran an article “Quiet primary predicted for Juneau.” The article said in part, “Voters should be prepared to bring a photo ID to the polls.” The only alternatives to photo ID mentioned in the article were if the voter was “personally known by the poll worker.” If their identity wasn’t known then the voter would “vote a questioned ballot.” These are not the only alternatives. While our radio stations and local newspapers work with diligence to get information out to the public, sadly, the information sometimes is lacking in accuracy.

The deadline to register to vote in our November general election is Oct. 9. All three of our city public libraries in Douglas, downtown Juneau and the Mendenhall Valley are voter registration sites as well as our Region I Elections Office (465-3021 or toll free 866-948-8683) in the Mendenhall Mall annex and the Election Director’s Office, in the (Spam Can) Court Plaza Building and online by going to Alaska Division of Elections. The Alaska Division of Elections site is extensive and will answer your questions about voter registration, and voting and polling place locations. If you can’t go to your polling place on election day, there are many voting options.

On primary election day, my polling location included an extensive list of voter ID options. A few are: voter registration card, birth certificate, social security card and Fish & Game license. Did you know that once you are registered, you may present your current utility bill or credit union/bank statement if it includes your name and current address?

Chris Niemi,

Member, Juneau League of Women Voters