Chapter 5.28
ABSENTEE VOTING

Sections:

5.28.010    Administration of absentee voting.

5.28.020    Designation of absentee voting officials.

5.28.030    Eligibility.

5.28.040    Fee prohibited.

5.28.050    Materials for absentee voting.

5.28.060    Absentee voting – In person.

5.28.070    Absentee voting – By mail.

5.28.080    Application for absentee voting by electronic transmission.

5.28.090    Absentee voting – Special needs voting.

5.28.100    Counting of ballots.

5.28.110    Names of absentee voters to be made available.

5.28.010 Administration of absentee voting.

The borough clerk shall provide general administrative supervision over the conduct of absentee voting and make instructions available to absentee voters regarding the procedure for absentee voting. (Ord. 2004-45 § 2, 2004. 2004 Code § 2.12.520.)

5.28.020 Designation of absentee voting officials.

The borough clerk may appoint any person qualified to vote in state elections to act as absentee voting officials. The borough clerk shall supply adequate voting supplies and ballots to the absentee voting officials. After taking an oath in the form required of election judges, an absentee voting official may perform all the duties of an election official with respect to the issuance, witnessing and receipt of absentee ballots at such places and times as the borough clerk may designate. Each absentee voting official shall transmit the dated envelopes containing the marked ballots to the borough clerk in the manner set forth in the written instructions provided by the borough clerk. Upon receipt of the absentee ballots, the borough clerk shall hold the ballots in a secure location until they can be transferred to the canvass board along with the absentee in-person registers and other election materials received from the absentee voting official. (Ord. 2004-45 § 2, 2004. 2004 Code § 2.12.530.)

5.28.030 Eligibility.

Any qualified voter may vote an absentee ballot for the precinct in which he resides and is registered (1) if he believes he will be unavoidably absent from his voting precinct on election day, whether inside the borough or not, or (2) if he will be unable to be present at the polls because of physical disability. (Ord. 2004-45 § 2, 2004. 2004 Code § 2.12.540.)

5.28.040 Fee prohibited.

No person may receive a fee from the voter for attesting to any voter’s certificate required in voting absentee. (Ord. 2004-45 § 2, 2004. 2004 Code § 2.12.550.)

5.28.050 Materials for absentee voting.

The borough clerk shall provide:

A. Absentee ballots for all precincts;

B. Small and large envelopes;

C. An affidavit by which the voter shall declare his/her qualification to vote, followed by a provision for attestation by a witness who is 18 or older;

D. An absentee voter register. (Ord. 2004-45 § 2, 2004. 2004 Code § 2.12.560.)

5.28.060 Absentee voting – In person.

A. A qualified voter may apply in person for an absentee ballot at the office of the borough clerk during regular office hours, or the voter may apply to the nearest city clerk’s office during regular office hours.

B. On receipt of an application in person for an absentee ballot and exhibition of proof of identification as required in this title, the borough clerk shall issue the ballot to the applicant.

C. The voter shall proceed to mark the ballot in secret, to place the ballot in the small envelope, and to place the small envelope in the larger envelope in the presence of the election official who shall sign as attesting official and date his signature. The election official shall then accept the ballot.

D. The election official may not accept a marked ballot that has been exhibited by an absentee voter with intent to influence other voters. If the absentee voter improperly marks or otherwise damages a ballot, the voter may request, and the election official shall provide him, with another ballot up to a maximum of three. Exhibited, improperly marked, or damaged ballots shall be destroyed. The numbers of all ballots destroyed shall be noted on the ballot statement.

E. Each absentee voting official shall keep a record of the names and the signatures of voters who cast absentee ballots before the official and the dates on which the ballots were cast.

F. All service area elections shall use the procedures in this section. (Ord. 2015-48 § 5, 2015; Ord. 2004-45 § 2, 2004. 2004 Code § 2.12.570.)

5.28.070 Absentee voting – By mail.

A. A qualified voter may apply for an absentee ballot by mail if postmarked not earlier than the first of the year in which the election is to be held nor less than seven days before an election. The application shall include the address to which the absentee ballot is to be returned, the applicant’s full Alaska residence address, and the applicant’s signature.

B. After receipt of an application by mail, the borough clerk shall send the absentee ballot and other absentee voting materials to the applicant by the most expeditious mail service. The materials shall be sent as soon as they are ready for distribution. The return envelope sent with the materials shall be addressed to the borough clerk.

C. Upon receipt of an absentee ballot by mail, the voter, in the presence of a notary public, commissioned officer of the armed forces including the National Guard, district judge or magistrate, United States postal official, or other person qualified to administer oaths, may proceed to mark the ballot in secret, to place the ballot in the small envelope, to place the small envelope in the larger envelope, and to sign the voter’s certificate on the back of the larger envelope in the presence of an official listed in this subsection who shall sign as attesting official and shall date his signature. If none of the officials listed in this subsection are reasonably accessible, an absentee voter shall be witnessed by a person over the age of 18 years.

D. An absentee ballot must be marked and attested on or before the date of the election. If the voter returns the ballot by mail, he shall use the most expeditious mail service and mail the ballot not later than the day of the election to the borough clerk. It must be postmarked on or before midnight of election day and received by the borough clerk no later than the Tuesday following the election. Ballot envelopes received after that time shall not be opened but shall be marked “invalid” with the date of receipt noted thereon, and shall be preserved with other ballots of the election.

E. The borough clerk may require a voter casting an absentee ballot by mail to provide proof of identification or other information to aid in the establishment of his identity.

F. The borough clerk shall maintain a record of the name of each voter to whom an absentee ballot is sent by mail. The record must list the date on which the ballot is mailed to the applicant and received in the office of the borough clerk. The record will contain the dates on which the ballot was executed and postmarked.

G. All service area elections shall use the procedures in this section. (Ord. 2015-48 § 6, 2015; Ord. 2004-45 § 2, 2004. 2004 Code § 2.12.580.)

5.28.080 Application for absentee voting by electronic transmission.

A. A qualified voter may apply for an absentee ballot to be sent by electronic transmission. Such request must be made by noon (Alaska Standard Time) the day immediately preceding the election. Absentee ballots will be electronically transmitted to the location designated in the application. If no location is designated, and if the request is received no later than seven days prior to the election, the ballot will be mailed in the manner provided for absentee ballots by mail. The borough clerk may impose reasonable conditions for electronically transmitting absentee ballots.

B. A ballot electronically transmitted shall contain a copy of the ballot to be used at the election in a form suitable for transmission. A photocopy of the computerized ballot card to be used by persons voting in person at the polling places is acceptable.

C. The voter shall mark the ballot on or before the date of the election and shall use a mail service at least equal to first class and mail the ballot not later than the day of the election to the borough clerk. The ballot may not be counted unless it is received by the close of business on the Tuesday following the election.

D. A voter may transmit the ballot electronically no later than the closing of polls on election day. The ballot shall be counted in the same manner as other absentee ballots, even though this procedure may reveal to one or more election officials the manner in which a particular absentee voter cast his or her ballot. However, it shall be unlawful to display a telefax ballot in a manner revealing the way in which a particular voter cast his or her ballot to any person other than the borough clerk, a member of the borough clerk’s staff, an election official in the course of his or her duties, or an attorney advising the borough clerk on legal questions concerning the ballot.

E. All service area elections shall use the procedures in this section. (Ord. 2016-40 § 33, 2016; Ord. 2015-48 § 7, 2015; Ord. 2004-45 § 2, 2004. 2004 Code § 2.12.590.)

5.28.090 Absentee voting – Special needs voting.

A qualified voter with a disability who, because of that disability, is unable to go to a polling place to vote may vote a special needs ballot. Special needs ballots shall be issued and accounted for in accordance with the rules adopted by the state for use in state elections and in effect at the time of the local election. (Ord. 2004-45 § 2, 2004. 2004 Code § 2.12.600.)

5.28.100 Counting of ballots.

To be counted in the election, an absentee ballot by mail must be postmarked on or before election day and be received by the borough clerk no later than the Tuesday following the election. Absentee ballot envelopes received after the canvass board has completed absentee ballot counting shall not be opened, but shall be marked “invalid” with the date of receipt noted thereon. Such envelopes shall be retained with the other election records and destroyed with them as provided by the borough clerk’s records retention schedule. Absentee ballot envelopes and other required documents shall be examined by the canvass board that shall determine whether the absentee voter is qualified to vote at the election and whether the ballot has been properly cast. (Ord. 2016-40 § 34, 2016; Ord. 2004-45 § 2, 2004. 2004 Code § 2.12.610.)

5.28.110 Names of absentee voters to be made available.

The borough clerk and election officials shall have available for public inspection the names and addresses of persons who voted absentee. The absentee voting officials shall deliver to the borough clerk the names and addresses of those persons who voted or attempted to vote absentee before the officials on the day following the borough election. (Ord. 2004-45 § 2, 2004. 2004 Code § 2.12.620.)