News from the Alaska State Legislature, the Office of Senator Micciche
For Immediate Release: May 27, 2016
New Law Improves Integrity of Alaska Elections
JUNEAU – Today, Gov. Bill Walker signed Senate Bill 9 into law. The bill, sponsored by Sen. Peter Micciche (R-Soldotna), repeals the authority to include “attack” advertising from a political party in the election pamphlet and strengthens the integrity of Alaska’s out-of-date voter registration list. The measure passed the Alaska Legislature with a broad, bi-partisan combined vote of 56-3 during the regular session.
The election pamphlet produced by the Division of Elections is intended to provide information about candidates, initiatives, judges, district boundary and voting information to help the electorate to be knowledgeable about matters that will be on the election ballot.
“My office received many complaints about attack ads in the pamphlet from constituents on both sides of the political aisle, from the most to the least conservative,” said Sen. Micciche. “When you think back to the election season of 2014, Alaskans were bombarded with ads saturated with the images and sounds of political advertising. When the State of Alaska election pamphlet arrives, there should be respite from the noise and a time when Alaskans can reflect about their final choice prior to voting.”
The bill also improves the integrity of Alaska’s voter registration data and our electoral process by enabling the Division of Elections to identify voters who are ineligible to vote, deceased, have changed residences within Alaska, moved out of state or have moved to Alaska from another state but have not registered to vote here.
“In the 2014 general election, the Division of Elections processed 27,788 questioned ballots following Election Day,” said Sen. Micciche. “Each ballot had to be individually inspected and considered, and many thousands of Alaskans had their ballot rejected entirely because of our inability to verify the accuracy of the ballot. SB 9 improves the integrity of our voter registration lists and will eliminate tens of thousands of questioned ballots.”
The bill allows for information-sharing among the Division of Elections and Departments of Administration and Revenue in order to verify that information provided by individual voters matches existing identification records maintained by the Divisions through membership in the Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC).
“For those Alaskans who believe that voting is the closest right to a sacrament in our political process, Senate Bill 9 is primarily about the purity of elections and the separation of political campaigning from the ballot box,” said Sen. Micciche. “SB 9 also ensures that people voting in Alaska should be voting in the correct district. I appreciate the support of Governor Walker and 56 legislators from around the state in recognizing the importance of ethics, integrity, accuracy and fairness within our elections process.”
SB 9 enjoyed the formal support of Alaska’s current Lieutenant Governor, Byron Mallott – whose duties include the role of Alaska’s Elections Administrator – as well as that of two former Lieutenant Governors, Mead Treadwell and Craig Campbell.
Left to right: Rep. Dave Talerico, Rep. Dan Saddler, Sen. Peter Micciche, Gov. Bill Walker,. Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott, Josephine Bahnke, Sen. Mia Costello
For more information, please contact Chuck Kopp in Sen. Peter Micciche’s office at (907) 465-2828.
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