News from the Alaska State Legislature, the Office of Senator Shower
For Immediate Release: April 15, 2021
Sen. Shower Introduces New Version of Election Security Bill
JUNEAU – Incorporating feedback from Alaskans across the state, Senator Mike Shower, R-Mat-Su Valley, today in the Senate State Affairs Committee unveiled a new version of Senate Bill 39 – a multi-year effort to make Alaska’s election system more secure and protect voter data.
“A troubling trend has emerged where entire segments of our nation are not only disappointed by election results, but refuse to acknowledge them as legitimate,” said Sen. Shower. “It happened in 2016 and again in 2020. Senate Bill 39 is a proposal I’ve been working on since 2018 to help restore Alaskans’ confidence in our election system – the very cornerstone of our constitutional republic – by utilizing the latest in election security technology to authenticate voter identification and protect sensitive voter information from hackers.”
The new version of SB 39:
- Introduces Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) security for all registered voters and exempts those unable to use the technology. MFA is an electronic method of verifying a user’s identity using two or more pieces of evidence most commonly used to protect users from unauthorized access to their personal information, financial assets, and more.
- Requires the Division of Elections (DOE) to use blockchain technology – a highly secure digital ledger – to protect election data and ensure something like the October 2020 data breach of over 113,000 Alaskans’ personal information never happens again.
- Requires DOE to clean the voter rolls more frequently and cross reference them with other more recent and accurate databases.
- Adds tribal identification cards to the list of acceptable forms of identification when registering to vote.
- Requires DOE to notify each absentee voter whose ballot has been rejected and provide an opportunity for the voter to fix any issues.
- Directs DOE to adhere to the U.S. Postal Service’s existing ballot envelope barcode procedure, enabling voters to track their mail-in ballots.
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