This photo shows the top of a ballot in the special primary election to fill the remainder of deceased U.S. Rep. Don Young’s term in the U.S. House of Representatives. In the primary, voters can only vote for one candidate. There will be a ranked choice special election on Aug. 16, which is the same date as the regular primary election. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)

This photo shows the top of a ballot in the special primary election to fill the remainder of deceased U.S. Rep. Don Young’s term in the U.S. House of Representatives. In the primary, voters can only vote for one candidate. There will be a ranked choice special election on Aug. 16, which is the same date as the regular primary election. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)

Opinion: Please make your voice heard on June 11

I am writing today to ask you one favor — please vote by June 11.

  • By Laurie Sica
  • Monday, June 6, 2022 11:45am
  • Opinion

By Laurie Sica

I am writing today to ask you one favor — please vote by June 11.

You should have received your ballot by now. The state of Alaska mailed ballots to all voters registered by April 27, 2022, for a special primary election on June 11. The only question on the ballot is who will fill the vacancy in the U.S. House of Representatives created by the passing of Congressman Don Young.

If you have not received your ballot you can request a new one through the Division of Elections or visit one of the absentee in-person locations. Precinct polling places will not be open on election day as this special election is being conducted by mail.

When I received my ballot in the mail, I was a little overwhelmed by the choice of picking only one candidate out of a long list of 48! In this new open primary, voters pick one top choice, no matter how many candidates are running. After the polls close and the ballots are tabulated, the top four vote-getters in the primary will advance to the special general election on August 16. Voters will then have an opportunity to rank the candidates by selecting their first, second, third and fourth choices.

I went online and found information on the candidates in the major newspapers, radio station websites and candidate webpages. After I chose my one candidate, I followed the instructions included with the ballot, by:

— filling in the oval next to the candidate’s name,

— tearing off the first perforated stub off the top of the ballot,

— folding and inserting my ballot into the secrecy sleeve,

— placing the ballot/secrecy sleeve into the ballot return envelope,

— signing my signature in front of my witness (my husband!),

— asking my witness to sign their name on my return envelope,

— adding the date and my identifier (birthdate, voter number, Social Security number or driver’s license/Alaska ID number), and

— sealing the envelope flap covering my confidential information, being careful not to remove the perforated piece used by the election workers in their review.

The return postage is already paid, so no stamp was needed. The ballots can be returned to any United States Postal Service mailbox, but must be postmarked by June 11. I went the extra step of asking my postal worker to postmark my envelope.

Voting is our opportunity to have a voice in our future. As a former municipal clerk and election official, I have witnessed the tireless efforts of Alaska’s election workers to maintain safe, secure and fair elections. Please make your voice heard on June 11 and vote!

• Laurie Sica is a retired municipal clerk for the City and Borough of Juneau.Columns, My Turns and Letters to the Editor represent the view of the author, not the view of the Juneau Empire. Have something to say? Here’s how to submit a My Turn or letter.

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