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What voters need to know to cast a ballot in the June 11 special primary election for Alaska's US House seat

The State of Alaska Division of Elections' 2020 “I Voted” sticker created by Alaskan artist Barbara Lavallee.
Alaska Division of Elections

The unexpected death of former U.S. House Rep. Don Young has triggered the need for a special election in Alaska to fill his seat. The primary for that special election is June 11. Here’s what voters need to know to cast a ballot in that special primary.

The special primary election will be Alaska’s first state by-mail election. That means the state is mailing all registered voters a ballot. The ballot will ask voters to pick one candidate and mail the ballot back. Each ballot will come with a pre-paid, pre-addressed envelope. There will be 48 candidates listed on the ballot.

Because ballots are being sent by mail, the Alaska Division of Elections is asking all voters to make sure that their voter registration has their correct mailing address. They want people to confirm this information as soon as possible. You can register to vote and check on your mailing address on the Alaska Division of Elections website, or you can call a regional elections office. Voters in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta would call the Nome office at toll-free 866-953-8683. The deadline for updating your voter information is May 12.

In some communities, voters will have the option of voting in-person. These locations are called absentee in-person voting sites. These sites will open on May 27, which is 15 days before the special election date. The Alaska Division of Elections will release a list of these sites by April 27.

The special primary election day is June 11. All ballots sent in the mail must be postmarked by this date.

The four candidates who garner the most votes in the special primary will then appear on the general election ballot on Aug. 16. This election will be the first in Alaska to use ranked-choice voting. Whoever wins that election will hold Alaska’s U.S. House seat until January to complete the current term.

Also, on Aug. 16, Alaska will hold its primary election for state legislators, governor, U.S. representative, and U.S. senator.

There will be another general election on Nov. 8 to decide who will take the U.S. House seat in January for a two-year term. It could be the same candidate that filled the special term.

Important Dates:

May 12 - Deadline to update voter registration and mailing address

May 27 - Absentee in-person voting sites open

June 11 - Special Election Primary Date. Mailed ballots must be postmarked by this date.

Aug. 16 - Special General Election; Regular Primary Election

Nov. 8 - Regular General Election

Helpful Links and Information:

List of 48 candidates for Special Primary Election:

Sample ballot for June 11 Special Primary Election:

Check your voter registration information:

Update your voter registration:

Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta voters can call the Region IV Elections Office in Nome with questions or to check their voter registration status at 907-443-5285 or toll-free 866-953-8683.

Alaska’s ballot counting process:

Alaska Division of Elections:

Learn about ranked choice voting:

Anna Rose MacArthur served as KYUK's News Director from 2015-2022.
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