Chapter 18.27


18.27.010    Eligible persons – Liberal construction.

18.27.020    Absentee voting – By mail.

18.27.030    Absentee voting – By electronic transmission.

18.27.040    Early voting.

18.27.050    Questioned voting.

18.27.060    Special needs voting.

18.27.010 Eligible persons – Liberal construction.

A. At any election, any registered qualified voter may for any reason vote an absentee by mail, absentee by electronic means ballot or early ballot, if provided by the clerk.

B. At any election, the precinct election officials shall allow a person to vote whose name is on the official precinct register for that precinct and who is qualified under this title and AS 15.05. A person whose name is not on the official register shall be allowed to vote a questioned ballot.

C. The provisions of this chapter effectuating the constitutional guarantee to vote shall be liberally construed. (Ord. 12-009 § 12, 2012)

18.27.020 Absentee voting – By mail.

A. A registered voter may apply to the clerk for an absentee by mail ballot to be mailed to the voter not earlier than the first of the year in which the election is to be held, nor less than seven calendar days before an election. A request may be made by facsimile.

B. All applications for an absentee by mail ballot shall be in writing either on a form provided by the clerk’s office or in a letter containing the following information:

1. The applicant’s place of residence;

2. The address the applicant desires the absentee by mail ballot to be mailed;

3. The applicant’s signature; and

4. A voter identifier such as voter number, a Social Security number, or date of birth.

C. Once ballots are in the clerk’s possession and ready for distribution and upon timely receipt of an application for absentee by mail ballot, the clerk shall mail an official ballot and other absentee by mail voting material to the applicant, at the mailing address given on the application. A return envelope, marked with the words “official ballot,” shall be included with the voting materials and addressed to the clerk.

D. At any time on or before the day of the election, any voter receiving an absentee by mail ballot may vote the ballot. The voted ballot shall then be placed in the secrecy sleeve, which is then placed in the return envelope, and the voter shall sign the certification on the return envelope and have it witnessed in the presence of one of the following authorized officials such as:

1. A notary public, U.S. postmaster or authorized postal clerk, commissioned military officer, judge, justice, magistrate, clerk of the court, a duly appointed voter registrar, or election official as defined in PMC 18.05.010; or

2. One witness who is at least 18 years of age may witness the voter’s signature if an authorized official is not reasonably accessible.

E. After witnessing the absentee by mail voter’s signature, the official or witness shall return the voted ballot to the voter who shall mail or otherwise deliver the ballot to the clerk. The voted absentee ballot shall be received by mail as defined in PMC 18.35.080 or returned to an election official no later than 8:00 p.m. on election day. A precinct election official shall deliver the voted absentee by mail ballots to the clerk. The clerk shall deliver the voted absentee by mail ballots to the canvass board for canvassing.

F. Prior to the election, the clerk shall give to the election board a list of voters from the city who have been issued absentee by mail ballots.

G. If a voter who was issued an absentee by mail ballot returns to the voter’s precinct on election day, the voter may not vote a regular ballot at the polling place unless the voter first surrenders to the election board the absentee by mail ballot, ballot envelope and return envelope issued to the voter. If the absentee by mail voter does not have the absentee by mail ballot to surrender, the voter may vote a questioned ballot. Surrendered absentee by mail ballots, ballot envelopes and return envelopes collected by the election board shall be returned to the clerk. (Ord. 12-009 § 12, 2012)

18.27.030 Absentee voting – By electronic transmission.

A. Ballot Application. A qualified voter may apply for an absentee ballot to be sent by electronic transmission. The request must be made not less than 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 in PMC 18.27.020 for absentee ballots by mail. The clerk will provide reasonable conditions for electronically transmitting absentee ballots.

B. Electronic Transmission. 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. Confidentiality Statement. An absentee ballot that is completed and returned by the voter by electronic transmission must:

1. Contain the following statement: “I understand that by using electronic transmission to return my marked ballot, I am voluntarily waiving a portion of my right to a secret ballot to the extent necessary to process my ballot, but expect that my vote will be held as confidential as possible,” followed by the voter’s signature and date of signature; and

2. Be accompanied by a statement executed under oath as to the voter’s identity; the statement under oath must be witnessed by one United States citizen who is 18 years of age or older.

D. Ballot Return. The voter shall mark the ballot on or before the date of the election and shall return the ballot by:

1. Mail Service. An absentee ballot shall be mailed to the clerk not later than election day. The ballot shall not be counted unless it is received by the close of business on the third calendar day following the election; or

2. Electronic Transmission. A voter who returns the absentee ballot by electronic transmission must comply with the same deadlines for voting in person on or before the closing hour of the polls.

When a completed absentee ballot is received by electronic transmission, the clerk will note the date of receipt on the absentee ballot application log and, if the ballot is received on election day, the time of receipt. The clerk will then:

a. Remove the ballot portion of the transmission from the portion that identifies the voter;

b. Place the ballot portion in a secrecy sleeve;

c. Seal the secrecy sleeve in an outer envelope of the type used for absentee ballots returned by mail, and seal that envelope;

d. Attach the voter identification portion to the outer envelope; and

e. Forward the outer sealed envelope to the canvass board for review. (Ord. 12-009 § 12, 2012)

18.27.040 Early voting.

A. Early voting before an election official, including the clerk, shall not begin prior to 15 calendar days before the election nor occur after 5:00 p.m. the day before the election.

B. The early voter who meets the requirements in this section and is qualified to vote in accordance with PMC 18.10.010 may vote early at the location(s) designated by the clerk.

C. An election official shall issue an official ballot to the voter under this section after:

1. The voter provides the voter’s name, residence address within the city and a voter identifier such as a voter number, Social Security number or date of birth; and

2. The voter signs the early-voting register, which constitutes a declaration that the voter is qualified to vote.

D. The voter shall mark the ballot in private, place the ballot in a secrecy sleeve, and place the secrecy sleeve in the early-voter envelope. The voter shall have the early-voter envelope witnessed by the election official and deposit the ballot in the ballot box in the presence of an election official. The election official shall deliver the voted early-voter ballots to the clerk.

E. If the voter’s qualification is questioned, the voter shall vote a questioned ballot in accordance with PMC 18.27.050.

F. The clerk shall deliver the voted early ballots to the canvass board for canvassing.

G. Before the opening of the polls on election day, the clerk shall give to the election board in each precinct a list of the voters who have voted an early ballot. If a voter on the list attempts to vote on election day, the voter may not vote a regular ballot but may vote a questioned ballot. (Ord. 12-009 § 12, 2012)

18.27.050 Questioned voting.

A. A questioned voter is a person:

1. Whose name does not appear on the register in the precinct where the voter attempts to vote or on the official register at an early-voting location;

2. Who has received an absentee by mail or by electronic transmission ballot and does not turn it in when voting at the voter’s precinct on election day;

3. Who does not bear identification or is not personally known to an election official though the voter’s name appears on the precinct register; or

4. Who is questioned for good cause at the polls in writing pursuant to subsection (C) of this section.

B. If a voter’s polling place is in question, the voter may vote a questioned ballot after complying with subsection (D) of this section.

C. Every election official and any other person qualified to vote may question a person attempting to vote if the questioner has good reason to suspect that the questioned person is not qualified to vote. All questions regarding a person’s qualification to vote shall be made in writing, setting out the reason that the person has been questioned. The questioned ballots and statements shall remain in the election official’s custody and shall be delivered to the clerk. The clerk shall deliver the questioned ballots and statement to the canvass board for canvassing.

D. The questioned person, before voting, shall execute a certification provided by the election official attesting to the fact the person meets all the qualifications of a voter, is not disqualified, and has not voted at the same election. After the questioned person has executed the certification, the person may vote. If the questioned person refuses to execute the certification, the person may not vote.

E. After voting, the questioned voter shall deliver the ballot to the election official. (Ord. 12-009 § 12, 2012)

18.27.060 Special needs voting.

A. A 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 through any person other than a candidate for office at that election, an immediate family member of the candidate for office at that election, the voter’s employer, an agent of the voter’s employer, or an officer or agent of the voter’s union.

B. The request for a special needs ballot may be made:

1. To the clerk on or after the fifteenth calendar day before a regular election or special election, up to and including the day before the election; or

2. From an absentee voting official at an absentee voting station designated by the clerk at a time when the absentee voting station is in operation; or

3. From a member of the precinct election board on election day.

C. If the request for a special needs ballot is made through a representative, the representative shall sign the special needs voting envelope provided by an election official. The envelope must include the following information:

1. The representative’s name;

2. The representative’s residence and mailing address;

3. The representative’s Social Security number, voter number, or date of birth;

4. The name of the voter on whose behalf the representative is requesting a ballot and voting materials;

5. An oath that the representative:

a. Is receiving a ballot and voting materials on behalf of the voter;

b. Will not vote the ballot for the voter;

c. Will not coerce the voter;

d. Will not divulge the vote cast by the voter; and

e. Has been notified that unlawful interference with voting is punishable under AS 15.56.030;

6. The representative’s signature.

D. The representative shall deliver the special needs ballot and other voting materials to the voter as soon as practicable. The voter shall mark the ballot in secret, place the ballot in a secrecy sleeve, and place the secrecy sleeve in the envelope provided. The voter shall provide the information on the envelope that would be required for absentee voting if the voter voted in person. The voter shall sign the voter’s certificate in the presence of the representative. The representative shall sign as attesting official and date voter’s signature.

E. The representative shall deliver the ballot envelope to a city of Palmer election official at a city of Palmer precinct not later than 8:00 p.m. Alaska time on election day.

F. If a qualified voter’s disability precludes the voter from performing any of the requirements of subsection (D) of this section, the representative may perform those requirements, except making the voting decision, on the voter’s behalf.

G. An election official shall deliver the voted special needs ballot to the clerk. The clerk shall deliver the voted special needs ballot to the canvass board for canvassing. (Ord. 12-009 § 12, 2012)