Courtesy of Division of Elections

Due to the pandemic, state elections officials expect a record number of absentee ballots will be submitted for the primary election coming up this month. For many people, this will be the first time that they have voted by mail. Alaska Lt. Gov. Kevin Meyer says that the ballot is straightforward, with one exception:

“Our absentee ballots do require a witness, and they do require a personal identifier as well as the person’s signature,” Meyer said.

Greg Kim

On Aug. 4, the Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation confirmed another positive COVID-19 case in a resident of a village in their service area. The person tested positive in Anchorage, and YKHC was notified late on Aug. 3. The person has been out of the region for the past two weeks and is currently self-isolating in Anchorage. That makes the fourth case this week, and the 38th case that YKHC has announced. 

Anna Rose MacArthur / KYUK

If you want to vote in the primary by mail with an absentee ballot, you have to get the application in right away. Under state law, the application for an absentee ballot must be received by the Alaska Division of Elections 10 days before the election. That means that to vote in the primary by mail, the division needs to receive your absentee ballot request by Saturday, Aug. 8.

It’s August; Primary Election Deadlines Loom

Aug 3, 2020
Dean Swope / KYUK

Because many voters may be afraid to go to the polls and vote during the pandemic, the state is expecting a large number of absentee votes this year. Both the state’s Democratic and Republican parties have sent out absentee ballot request forms to their members and independent voters. The state also sent them to elderly voters, and the forms are available online at the Alaska Division of Elections' website. 

A 22-year-old village public safety officer in the Southwest Alaska community of Eek has been charged with sexual assault and human trafficking.

Samples for COVID-19 testing are collected using a cotton swab like the one pictured here from the lab at the Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation hospital in Bethel, Alaska.
Katie Basile / KYUK

The Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation announced three cases of COVID-19 over the weekend.

Courtesy of Google Maps

The Lower Yukon community of Mountain Village is shutting its doors to nearby nonresidents unless they have permission to enter from the tribe, according to City Manager Michelle Peterson.

Update 11:36 a.m.:

Nine-year-old Lawrence Charles Jr. has been found. Bethel Police Department sent out an alert at 11:26 a.m. saying that the child had been found "safe and sound."

Original Story

A Bethel child has been missing since 10:30 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020. Nine-year-old Lawrence Charles Jr. went to get something outside of his home on Ptarmigan Street Sunday night. He’s Alaska Native, 4-feet tall, weighs 90 pounds, and was last seen wearing a gray sweater, red shirt, and blue or black sandals. Anyone with news of his whereabouts, please call 911 or contact the police at 907-543-3781.

Mertarvik , Alaska on July 14, 2020.
Katie Basile / KYUK

Those who have moved to Mertarvik are making themselves at home.

In Newtok, Byron John and some friends stand back up the village's outdoor basketball hoop (right). In Mertarvik, kids play on a portable hoop that has already seen some wear and tear in its first year (left).
Katie Basile / KYUK

An ongoing relocation effort caused by climate change-fueled erosion has separated friends across 9 miles of river. But if there’s one thing that unites them, it’s their love of basketball. In Newtok and Mertarvik, during a time when the COVID-19 pandemic has closed school gyms, kids are still finding a way to play the game they love.