Editor, Valdez Star 

Tuesday elections will open at 7 a.m. at Valdez voting precincts

Two propositions will be on Alaska ballot in addition to candidates


Following the national trend, Valdez voters are heading to the polls early this year.

Voters can cast absentee ballots at city hall during regular business hours - from 8:30 am. to 5:00 p.m. - on weekdays.

The polls open for elections Tuesday, Nov. 8 and are from 7:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. according to the Alaska Division of Elections.

Early voting - where the voter's eligibility is likely to be verified at the time the ballot is cast - is available at regional offices are located in Juneau, Anchorage, Wasilla, Fairbanks and Nome.

Absentee ballots cast in Valdez are counted and verified after polls close.

Valdez voters will be electing a new District 9 representative to the Alaska House. George Rauscher is on the ballot on the Republican ticket. Pamela Goode of Delta is challenging Rauscher after winning the nomination from the Alaska Constitution party.

In addition to electing a new president, the race is on for U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives.

There are also two measures on the Alaska ballot.

The first asks for voter approval to allow Alaskans who are qualified to vote to be registered when applying for the permanent fund dividend.

The second measure - if passed - amends the Alaska Constitution by expanding the state's authority to incur debt through general obligation bonds for postsecondary student loans.

In Ballot Measure No. 1, the information given when individuals apply for the permanent fund would also be given to the Division of Elections. If the applicant is also eligible to vote, the Division of Elections will then notify the individual within 30 days, giving the person a chance to decline the registration or add a political affiliation.

Measure 1, if it passes, will cost approximately $942,000 - just shy of a million dollars - for the Division of Elections to implement the initiative.

The recurring costs annually is estimated at around $300,000.

Proponents say Measure 1 will increase efficiency and result in overall savings. Proponents also say that linking the dividend with voter registration would decrease the chances that ineligible persons would be added to voter rolls.

If passed, backers of Measure No. 2 say it will help make college and career training more affordable for Alaskans at no cost to the state "by letting the State issue general obligation bonds backed by the state for postsecondary student loans," according to the ballot language.


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