Chapter 5.35
ABSENTEE AND EARLY VOTING

Sections:

5.35.010    Administration of absentee and early voting.

5.35.020    Designation of absentee and early voting officials.

5.35.030    Eligibility.

5.35.040    Fee prohibited.

5.35.050    Materials for absentee or early voting.

5.35.055    Early voting.

5.35.060    Absentee voting – In person.

5.35.070    Absentee voting – By mail.

5.35.080    Absentee voting – By electronic transmission.

5.35.090    Special needs voting.

5.35.100    Counting of ballots.

5.35.110    Names of absentee voters.

5.35.010 Administration of absentee and early voting.

The borough clerk shall provide general administrative supervision over the conduct of absentee and early voting. The borough clerk shall make available instructions to voters regarding the procedure for absentee and early voting. [Ord. No. 1920A, §2, 7-6-20; Ord. No. 1357, §2, 7-5-05. Code 1974 §25.70.010.]

5.35.020 Designation of absentee and early voting officials.

The borough clerk may appoint city or borough clerks or any person qualified to vote in state elections to act as absentee or early voting officials. The borough clerk shall supply adequate voting supplies and ballots to the voting officials. After taking an oath in the form required of election officials, an absentee or early voting official may perform all the duties of an election official with respect to the issuance, witnessing and receipt of ballots at such places and times as the borough clerk may designate. Each absentee or early 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 ballots, the borough clerk shall hold the ballots in a secure location until they can be transferred to the canvass board along with the registers and other election materials received from the absentee or early voting official. [Ord. No. 1920A, §2, 7-6-20; Ord. No. 1357, §2, 7-5-05. Code 1974 §25.70.020.]

5.35.030 Eligibility.

At any election a qualified voter may vote an absentee or early ballot for any reason. [Ord. No. 1920A, §2, 7-6-20; Ord. No. 1357, §2, 7-5-05. Code 1974 §25.70.030.]

5.35.040 Fee prohibited.

No person may receive a fee from the voter for attesting to any voter’s certificate required in absentee or early voting. [Ord. No. 1920A, §2, 7-6-20; Ord. No. 1357, §2, 7-5-05. Code 1974 §25.70.040.]

5.35.050 Materials for absentee or early voting.

The borough clerk shall provide ballots for use as absentee or early voting ballots for all precincts, and shall provide a secrecy sleeve in which the voter shall initially place the marked ballot, and shall provide a larger envelope, with the prescribed voter’s certificate on the back, in which the secrecy sleeve with ballot enclosed shall be placed. The borough clerk shall provide the form of and prepare the voter’s certificate which shall include an oath that the voter is a qualified voter in all respects, a blank for the voter’s signature, a certification that the affiant properly executed the marking of the ballot and identified himself, blanks for the attesting official or witness, and a place for recording the date the envelope was sealed and witnessed. [Ord. No. 1920A, §2, 7-6-20; Ord. No. 1357, §2, 7-5-05. Code 1974 §25.70.050.]

5.35.055 Early voting.

(a)    Early voting before an election official shall not begin prior to 15 days before a regular or special election. A qualified voter may apply in person for an early voting ballot at the office of the borough clerk during regular office hours, or the voter may apply to the nearest city clerk’s office or early voting location during regular office hours.

(b)    On receipt of an application for an early ballot the election official shall verify the voter’s proof of identification as required in this title. The election official shall verify that the voter’s residence address appears on the official registration list and is qualified to vote per this title and shall require the voter to sign the early voting register. The election official shall then issue the ballot to the applicant.

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

(d)    Prior to the election, the clerk shall mark the precinct registers of those voters who voted early or give to the election board in each precinct a list of voters from the precinct who have voted early. [Ord. No. 1920A, §2, 7-6-20.]

5.35.060 Absentee voting – In person.

(a)    Absentee voting in person before an election official shall not begin prior to 15 days before a regular or special election. 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 or absentee voting official in his area 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 secrecy sleeve, place the secrecy sleeve in the larger envelope in the presence of the election official who shall sign as attesting official and date of 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 him and the dates on which the ballots were cast. [Ord. No. 1920A, §2, 7-6-20; Ord. No. 1357, §2, 7-5-05. Code 1974 §25.70.060.]

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

(1)    The applicant’s full Alaska residence address;

(2)    The address to which the applicant desires the absentee ballot to be mailed, or if the application requests delivery of an absentee ballot by electronic transmission, the telephone electronic transmission number to which the absentee ballot is to be returned;

(3)    The applicant’s signature;

(4)    A voter identifier such as voter number, the last four digits of the social security number, Alaska driver’s license number, Alaska state identification number, or date of birth.

A request may be made by facsimile, scanning, or other electronic transmission. Another individual may apply for an absentee ballot on behalf of a qualified voter if that individual is designated to act on behalf of the voter in a written general power of attorney or a written special power of attorney that authorizes the other individual to apply for an absentee ballot on behalf of the voter.

(b)    After receipt of an application by mail, the borough clerk shall send the absentee ballot and other absentee voting material to the applicant by first-class mail. 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 secrecy sleeve, place the secrecy sleeve in the larger envelope, and 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 have the ballot 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, the most expeditious mail service shall be used and the ballot mailed not later than the day of the election to the borough clerk.

(e)    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 and the date on which the ballot is received by the borough clerk and the dates on which the ballot was executed and postmarked. [Ord. No. 1357, §2, 7-5-05. Code 1974 §25.70.070.]

5.35.080 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 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 (7) days prior to the election, the ballot will be mailed in the manner provided in KGBC 5.35.070 for absentee ballots by mail. The borough clerk will provide 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)    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 a United States citizen who is eighteen (18) years of age or older.

(d)    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 beginning of the canvass board meeting.

(e)    A voter who returns the absentee ballot by electronic transmission must comply with the same deadlines as for voting in person on or before the closing hour of the polls.

(f)    When a completed absentee ballot is received by electronic transmission, the borough 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 borough clerk will then:

(1)    Remove the ballot portion of the transmission from the portion that identifies the voter;

(2)    Place the ballot portion in a secrecy sleeve;

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

(4)    Attach the voter identification portion to the outer envelope; and

(5)    Forward the outer sealed envelope to the canvass board for review.

(g)    An electronically transmitted ballot shall be counted in the same manner as other absentee ballots, even though this procedure may reveal to one (1) 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. [Ord. No. 1357, §2, 7-5-05. Code 1974 §25.70.080.]

5.35.090 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. No. 1357, §2, 7-5-05. Code 1974 §25.70.090.]

5.35.100 Counting of ballots.

(a)    To be counted in the election, an absentee ballot must be postmarked on or before election day and be received by the borough clerk no later than the beginning of the canvass board meeting. Absentee ballot envelopes received after that time 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’s records retention schedule.

(b)    Absentee ballot envelopes shall be examined by the canvass board who shall determine whether the absentee voter is qualified to vote at the election and whether the ballot has been properly cast. [Ord. No. 1357, §2, 7-5-05. Code 1974 §25.70.100.]

5.35.110 Names of absentee voters.

The borough clerk shall maintain a record of the name of each voter to whom an absentee ballot is sent under this section. The record must list the date on which the ballot is mailed or provided by electronic transmission and the date on which the ballot is received by the borough clerk. The record shall be available for public inspection. [Ord. No. 1357, §2, 7-5-05. Code 1974 §25.70.110.]