Deadline to register to vote in primary approaching

  • Thursday, July 14, 2016 11:55am
  • Opinion

The fish are in, and while that and other summer activities have much of our attention, Kenai Peninsula residents should take a few moments to check their voter registration, as the deadline to register for the Aug. 16 primary election is Sunday.

If you need to register and have a valid Alaska driver’s license, you can do so online. Find a link on the state Division of Elections website, www.elections.alaska.gov. Voters also can register at municipal clerks’ offices, at the Division of Motor Vehicles, and at many public libraries. Registration applications can be downloaded from the Division of Elections website, too. Completed forms can be mailed, emailed or faxed to the regional elections office.

Be sure to note your party affiliation as it will determine which ballot you can choose in Alaska’s closed primary. Any registered voter may vote on the Alaska Democratic Party, Alaska Libertarian Party and Alaskan Independence Party Candidate ballot; voters registered as Republican, Nonpartisan or Undeclared may vote on the Alaska Republican Party Candidate ballot.

That means, for example, that if you want to vote for one of the candidates seeking the Republican nomination for your Alaska House of Representatives District, make sure you’re registered as a Republican, Nonpartisan or Undeclared voter. Keep in mind, you won’t have the option of, for example, voting for a Democrat in the U.S. Senate race and a Republican in the state House race.

Most voters will have quite a few choices, no matter which ballot they select.

In the U.S. Senate race, Democrats Ray Metcalfe and Edgar Blatchford, and Libertarian Cean Stevens are on the Democratic/Libertarian/Independence ballot, as are U.S. House candidates Jim McDermott, Jon Watts, both Libertarians, and Democrats William Hibler, Lynette Hinz and Steve Lindbeck.

On the Republican ballot, U.S. Senate candidates include Paul Kendall, Thomas Lamb, Bob Lochner and Lisa Murkowski. U.S. House candidates are Gerald Heikes, Jesse Tingley, Stephen Wright and Don Young.

In the Alaska House race, voters in District 29, which includes Nikiski, Sterling, Funny River and the eastern Kenai Peninsula, will see Mike Chenault on the Republican ballot.

House District 30, which covers Kenai, Soldotna, and Kalifornsky Beach, has a packed state House ballot, with Democrat Shauna Thornton on the Democratic/Libertarian/Independence ballot, and Keith Baxter, Kelly Wolf, Gary Knopp and Rick Koch vying for the Republican nomination.

In House District 31, which stretches from Homer to Kasilof, the Republican ballot includes Paul Seaton, Beth Wythe and J.R. Cox. District 31 voters will also see state Senate District P candidate Gary Stevens on their ballot. There are no state House or Senate candidates on the Democratic/Libertarian/Independence ballot.

There are several candidates who won’t appear on the primary ballot but have nominating petitions pending for the general election ballot in November, including non-affiliated candidates Don Hopkins and Daniel Lynch, and Constitution Party candidate J.R. Meyers, all for House District 30.

There’s a lot to consider between now and the Aug. 16 primary, but take a moment now to make sure you’re registered to vote come election day.

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