Shown is a primary demonstration ballot at the Alaska Division of Elections office in Anchorage, Alaska, on Jan. 21, 2022. Alaska elections will be held for the first time this year under a voter-backed system that scraps party primaries and sends the top four vote-getters regardless of party to the general election, where ranked choice voting will be used to determine a winner. No other state conducts its elections with that same combination. (AP Photo/Mark Thiessen)

Shown is a primary demonstration ballot at the Alaska Division of Elections office in Anchorage, Alaska, on Jan. 21, 2022. Alaska elections will be held for the first time this year under a voter-backed system that scraps party primaries and sends the top four vote-getters regardless of party to the general election, where ranked choice voting will be used to determine a winner. No other state conducts its elections with that same combination. (AP Photo/Mark Thiessen)

Voices of the Peninsula: It’s a very special election

This is an open primary meaning all party and unaffiliated candidates will be on one ballot.

By Therese Lewandowski

This special election, per the U.S. Constitution, is being held to replace Alaska’s only seat in the U.S. House of Representatives vacated by the death of Congressman Don Young. It is only for the remaining of his term, which ends this year. This is a by-mail only primary election. Ballots will be mailed to every registered voter in the state beginning April 27. They are due back, or post-marked, by June 11 in the postage-paid envelope provided.

Your deadline to be a registered voter is May 12. All Alaska Permanent Fund dividend recipients are registered voters but you may want to make sure your address is current. You can check for that along with your voting status, to see if your ballot has been mailed, and then if it has been received at https://myvoterinformation.alaska.gov/. Or, visit your local Legislative Information Office.

There are about 49 candidates who have been certified to run in this election. The candidate list is found at https://www.elections.alaska.gov/. There you can view websites and email them with questions that are important to you.

Primary elections are held to pare down the candidates. This is an open primary meaning all party and unaffiliated candidates will be on one ballot. You vote for one and the top four candidates will advance to the general. That election will be held with the regular primary election on Aug. 16.

There will be much more voting information coming out as this is a big election year. Follow it all on the state elections website. While there you can practice ranked choice voting. Kids from all over the state submitted artwork for the “I Voted” stickers and artwork for the cover of the election pamphlet and need you to rank choice their work. The deadline for that is April 12.

Remember, your vote does count and your voice does matter.

Therese Lewandowski is a member of Kenai Peninsula Votes.

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