What others say: Help more Alaskans vote

  • Monday, April 13, 2015 7:59pm
  • Opinion

Can we agree that having more Alaskans vote is a good thing?

Almost universally, higher voter turnout results in moderation. As the thought goes, a candidate must tack toward the center in order to appeal to the most voters. Voting patterns typically follow a bell curve — few extremists at the fringes and most people at the center.

A candidate too far to the left or right will never garner more votes than a candidate in the middle — if turnout is high.

The situation changes when turnout is low. Those who occupy the fringes of the political spectrum tend to be passionate, active voters. If the center does not hold, things fall apart. Without strong participation by voters in the center, the radical fringe has a better chance of seeing its candidate elected.

Having more voters means more stability, and the first step to having more voters is making it easy for them to register.

Two bills in the Alaska Legislature — one in the House and one in the Senate — promise changes in state law that would make it easier for Alaskans to register to vote.

Senate Bill 93, sponsored by Sen. Lesil McGuire, R-Anchorage, and House Bill 95, sponsored by five House members, would allow Alaskans to register as late as Election Day.

Same-day voter registration is the law in 10 states and the District of Columbia, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Voters simply present a driver’s license at the polling station, and they’re permitted to vote. Different states use different ways to deter fraud and keep people from voting multiple times per day. In states with real-time access to the voter database, fraud is easy to detect.

Even without real-time access, Iowa and New Hampshire use mailings after Election Day to detect fraud and provide ways to prosecute offenders.

It is unfortunate, as we enter the final week of the Alaska Legislature’s regular session, that neither SB 93 or HB 95 have received even a single hearing.

There are many matters before the Alaska Legislature, but we believe lawmakers should find time to improve the basic foundation of democracy — voting.

— Juneau Empire,

April 12

More in Opinion

This image available under the Creative Commons license shows the outline of the state of Alaska filled with the pattern of the state flag.
Opinion: Bringing broadband to all Alaskans

Too many Alaskans face barriers accessing the internet.

This photo shows a stack of pocket constitutions at the Alaska State Capitol. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire File)
Opinion: Join us in voting against a constitutional convention

Voting no on a constitutional convention is vital to the well-being and stability of our state.

Michael O’Meara.
Point of View: Tell BOEM how you feel

It seems like BOEM should prioritize input from people most likely to be affected if leases are sold

The State of Alaska, Department of Administration, Office of Information Technology webpage. (Screenshot/oit.alaska.gov)
Cloud migration now underway will strengthen, enhance State IT systems

At the most basic level, cloud computing is the delivery of computing services remotely

Jessica Cook, left, and Les Gara stand in The Peninsula Clarion’s offices on Thursday, June 30, 2022, in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Alaska Voices: Better schools for a better economy

We need leaders who care about our children’s futures

A resident casts their vote in the regular municipal election Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2020, at the Kenai Peninsula Fairgrounds in Ninilchik, Alaska. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)
Voices of the Peninsula: This is our borough and city

By Therese Lewandowski Another election already? Yes! This is our local elections… Continue reading

The Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation building is seen in Juneau, Alaska, in March 2022. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire)
Opinion: APFC keeps steady keel during turbulent year

FY2022 was a challenging year for all investors

t
Opinion: Don’t get scammed like I nearly did

I should have just turned off the computer.

Most Read