In-person voting is underway in Alaska’s special primary election. Here’s what to know.

a person shows their ballot before placing it in a secure ballot drop box
Jim Curtis drops off his ballot at the Loussac Library voting center for the 2021 Anchorage city election. (Jeff Chen/Alaska Public Media)

Early and absentee in-person voting began Friday for the U.S. House special primary election. Forty-eight candidates are vying for Alaska’s sole U.S. House seat.

It’s the state’s first by-mail election, and ballots have already been sent to registered voters. But Alaskans can also vote in-person at one of 170 sites.

Gail Fenumiai, the director of Alaska Division of Elections, had a few tips for Alaskans choosing to in-person vote.

“Make sure that you know the hours of operation, and be prepared to show identification when you appear to vote in front of the election official,” she said.

Hours vary by site. Some are open on the weekend. Twenty sites will be open on Election Day — Saturday, June 11 — including sites in Anchorage, Fairbanks, Juneau and Wasilla. Alaskans can check the hours of their local voting locations online at elections.alaska.gov

Fenumiai said Alaskans who vote in-person will get a ballot at the location and should get rid of the one mailed to them.

“They can destroy their ballot at home by tearing it and disposing of it,” she said. “If they have a shredder, they can go ahead and shred it.”

Alaskans choosing to vote by mail must have their ballots postmarked by June 11 and include the voter’s signature, an identifier and a witness signature. Voting officials encourage mailing ballots early, since many rural post offices send mail to Anchorage to be postmarked. 

There’s also a third way to vote: Alaskans can drop off their mail-in ballots at an in-person voting location or regional office, said Fenumiai.

“They have ballot boxes there and they’d be able to leave their ballots with the election official,” she said. 

As of Friday, the state had received 89,289 ballots, according to the Division of Elections.

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