A vote-by-mail ballot box is photographed at the Kenai Peninsula Borough Administration building in Soldotna, Alaska, in October 2020. (Peninsula Clarion file)

A vote-by-mail ballot box is photographed at the Kenai Peninsula Borough Administration building in Soldotna, Alaska, in October 2020. (Peninsula Clarion file)

Voices of the Peninsula: Why wait to register?

Absentee voting in our state and borough was extremely popular this past election.

  • Tuesday, June 22, 2021 11:36pm
  • Opinion

By Alex Koplin

There are about 100 days until our next borough and city election. Yawn! No!

Kenai Peninsula Votes wants to encourage all registered voters to go online TODAY and apply for your absentee ballot for the Oct. 5 election. Don’t delay. It is easy and takes just a few minutes and then you are prepared for our next election. Apply for your ballot.

It is important to note that if you are applying online for your ballot, it doesn’t commit you to voting absentee. It just gives you another choice. If you want to vote early, or in person, you would not send in your absentee ballot. The Kenai Peninsula Borough makes sure that voting twice does not occur and there are penalties if you do.

What really matters is that you vote. There are different ways to vote, but more people voted by mail than we had ever seen before in our last election. Here are the numbers for our October 2020 election: 14,572 people voted, and of those, 4,535 voted absentee or question ballot.

Absentee voting in our state and borough was extremely popular this past election. And why not? With the threat of the pandemic looming large, it was a safer way to vote. We learned that absentee voting is easy and safe and actually more secure than voting in person because you have to ask for your ballot to be sent to you. Also, there is a paper trail that can verify your ballot.

If you actually go to a polling station to vote, a machine reads your vote instead of a person. There is also the advantage of being able to study the ballot and do your research on the positions of the candidates as well as any ballot issues. And the borough pays the postage to return your ballot. In the past, I rarely voted absentee, but now I am sold on voting at home. Old dogs can still learn new tricks and I am happy for that.

So don’t delay. Sign up today. There is a system in place that will notify you when your ballot is sent and when it is received.

Remember your voice matters!

Once you know what method you will use to vote, you’ll have time to focus on the candidates and the issues in the upcoming election.

Alex Koplin is a founding member of Kenai Peninsula Votes.

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