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Division of Elections Statement on Supreme Court Decision

OCTOBER 12, 2020 JUNEAU, AK - The Alaska Supreme Court today agreed with the lower court that in light of the pandemic, for the 2020 general election only, voters do not need to get their absentee ballots witnessed. In order for a person’s vote to count, voters must still sign the back of the absentee ballot envelope and provide the voter identifier, such as date of birth, driver’s license number, etc. The Division of Elections also recommends that voters date their signature on the back of the envelope. Normally, the witness would date their signature, but since there is no witness requirement, the voter is encouraged (but not required) to fill this information in.

There is also nothing prohibiting a voter from having their ballot witnessed, and any ballot that is witnessed will be counted, so long as it meets all the other statutory requirements, just as it would have been prior to the court’s order.

The Division of Elections is finalizing an instructional video that will be available on its website in the next few days to assist voters in the steps they need to take to cast their absentee ballots. The division encourages voters to review the division's website, if they have questions, or contact the division at 907-465-4611.

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