Email us at lwvak@lwvalaska.org

Welcome to the League of Women Voters Alaska

 

This website is designed to provide papers on the statewide positions of the League of Women Voters Alaska, contact information for local chapters and links to government agencies that may be helpful for Alaska residents.

 

Click on a CITY below to get information about local League of Women Voters organizations. 

Anchorage

League of Women Voters of Anchorage

 

 

 

Juneau

League of Women Voters of Juneau

 

Fairbanks

League of Women Voters of the Tanana Valley

 

 

Kenai

Central Peninsula League of Women Voters

 

One-Stop Shop for Voter Information

 

VotingRightsAlaska.org

Freedom to Vote Act & John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2021

Freedom to Vote Act

The Freedom to Vote Act (S.2747) was introduced by Senator Amy Klobachur on September 14, 2021. The bill replaces the For the People Act and has 49 cosponsors. This bill has many of the features of the original For the People bill, but it does not include the ethics portion of the original.  This bill is the result of much negotiation with bipartisan voices being heard.  However, it may continue to require a revision of the filibuster rules in the Senate to allow passage.  Both of these bills are greatly needed to set basic voting standards in all states. Here are the major features of this bill.  Keep in mind as you read through this description that most of these features are the result of adopting best practices from a variety of states that already have these processes in their state level elections.  These are not new and untested ideas!

 

           I.Voter Access and Election Administration

 

This section includes provisions to advance voter access by implementing reliable state best practices for voter registration and election administration to ensure all Americans can easily exercise their freedom to vote regardless of where they live.

 

Automatic Voter Registration and Online Voter Registration: Enacts an automatic voter registration system for each state through the state’s motor vehicle agency and ensures voters in all states have access to online voter registration.
Election Day Holiday: Makes Election Day a public holiday.
Uniform Early Voting: Ensures voters have access to at least 15 consecutive days of early voting for federal elections, including two weekends, while accommodating small election jurisdictions and vote-by-mail jurisdictions.
Same Day Voter Registration: Ensures every state offers same day registration at a limited number of locations for the 2022 elections and at all polling locations by 2024, allowing election officials, especially in rural areas, time to implement the new requirements.
Federal Minimum Standards on Vote by Mail and Drop Boxes: Ensures all voters can request a mail-in ballot, improves the delivery of election mail, and puts in place minimum standards to ensure drop boxes are available and accessible to all voters.
Strengthens Voter List Maintenance Standards: Requires that the removal of voters from the rolls is done on the basis of reliable and objective evidence and prohibits the use of returned mail sent by third parties to remove voters.
Counting of Provisional Ballots: Requires provisional ballots to count for all eligible races within a county, regardless of the precinct they were cast in.
Standards for Voter Identification: Promotes voter confidence and access by requiring a uniform national standard for states that requires identification for in-person voting, and allowing voters to present a broad set of identification cards and documents in hard copy and digital form.
Voting Rights Restoration for Returning Citizens: Restores the right to vote in federal elections for people who have served their time for felony convictions after they are released from prison.
Expanded Voting Access Protections for the Disabled, Native Americans, Military, Overseas Voters, and Underserved Communities: Includes targeted protections to promote accessible voting to communities facing unique challenges.

 

              II.     Election Integrity

 

This section includes measures to promote confidence in elections, stop partisan election subversion, and protect against election interference, both foreign and domestic.

 

Preventing State Election Subversion: Establishes federal protections to insulate nonpartisan state and local officials who administer federal elections from undue partisan interference or control.
Protection of Election Records, Election Infrastructure, and Ballot Tabulation: Strengthens protections for federal election records and election infrastructure in order to protect the integrity and security of ballots and voting systems.
Voter-Verified Paper Ballots, Reliable Audits, and Voting System Upgrades: Requires states to use voting systems that use paper ballots that can be verified by voters and to implement reliable post-election audits. Also provides grants for states to purchase new and more secure voting systems and make cybersecurity improvements.
Non-Partisan Election Official Recruitment and Training: Tasks the Election Assistance Commission with developing model training programs to recruit a new generation of election workers and provides dedicated grants for training and recruitment.
Comprehensive Voting System Security Protections: Puts in place election vendor cybersecurity standards, including standards for manufacturing and assembling voting machines, among other key security measures.
Establishing Duty to Report Foreign Election Interference: Creates a reporting requirement for federal campaigns to disclose certain foreign contacts.

 

            III.     Civic Participation and Empowerment

 

This section includes provisions to prevent partisan manipulation of the redistricting process, establishes uniform disclosure standards for money in politics, and empowers states to make critical investments in their election systems.

 

Non-Partisan Redistricting Reform and Banning Partisan Gerrymandering: Requires states to abide by specific criteria for congressional redistricting and makes judicial remedies available for states’ failure to comply. Allows states to choose how to develop redistricting plans, including the option of having an independent redistricting commission.
Combatting Secret Money and Election Interference (DISCLOSE Act and Honest Ads Act): Requires super PACs, 501(c)(4) groups, and other organizations spending money in elections to disclose donors and shuts down the use of transfers between organizations to cloak the identity of contributors. Ensures that political ads sold online have the same transparency and disclosure requirements as ads sold on TV, radio, and satellite.
State Election Assistance and Innovation Fund: Establishes a self-sustaining fund to finance critical investments in state-led innovations for our democracy and election infrastructure. The fund is financed through an additional assessment paid on federal fines, penalties, and settlements for certain tax crimes and corporate malfeasance. States would be allotted an annual distribution for eligible democracy and election-related investments. States could select to access their full distribution or a partial distribution, or roll over their distribution for future use.
Nonpartisan Oversight of Federal Election Law: Improves the ability of the Federal Election Commission to carry out oversight and enforcement responsibilities.
Stopping Illicit Super PAC Coordination: Creates “coordinated spender” category to ensure single-candidate super PACs do not operate as arms of campaigns.

 

 

Please contact your Senators (U.S. Capitol Switchboard: 202-224-3121) and ask them to support these two bills.  Or find their email contact information at Senate.gov; check the upper left hand corner and find Alaska.

 

Image by Armelion from Pixabay

Freedom to Vote Act synopsis
210925_ FreedomtoVoteAct.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [184.9 KB]

John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2021 (VRAA)

 

Some history:  In 1965 Congress passed the Voting Rights Act, which protected a citizen's right to vote. If certain states attempted to suppress the vote of certain groups or made voting difficult through general incompetence of those overseeing the voting process, such a state would fall under a preclearance process for any changes that were made going forward to improve the voting experience.

In 2013, the Supreme Court of the United States struck down the preclearance requirement in the Shelby vs. Holder decision. SCOTUS declared the original preclearance process to be outdated but left the door open for Congress to modernize this process. In 2019 the House passed a bill that would modernize the preclearance process. This bill was reintroduced to the House of Representatives by Rep. Terri Sewell as H.R. 4  with 223 cosponsors, passed the House and was received in the Senate on Sept. 14, 2021. As S.4. the bill was introduced on Oct. 5, 2021 by Sen. Patrick Leahy with 48 cosponsors.

 

 

This bill establishes new criteria for determining which states and political subdivisions must obtain preclearance before changes to voting practices may take effect. Preclearance is the process of receiving preapproval from the Department of Justice (DOJ) or the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia before making legal changes that would affect voting rights.

 

The bill also includes provisions related to federally protected activities at polling places and voting access on tribal lands.

 

A state and all of its political subdivisions shall be subject to preclearance of voting practice changes for a 10-year period if

 

 * 15 or more voting rights violations occurred in the state during the previous 25 years; or
 * 10 or more violations occurred during the previous 25 years, at least 1 of which was committed by the state itself.

 

A political subdivision as a separate unit shall also be subject to preclearance for a 10-year period if three or more voting rights violations occurred there during the previous 25 years.

 

States and political subdivisions that meet certain thresholds regarding minority groups must preclear covered practices before implementation, such as changes to methods of election and redistricting.

 

Further, states and political subdivisions must notify the public of changes to voting practices.

 

Next, the bill authorizes DOJ to require states or political subdivisions to provide certain documents or answers to questions for enforcing voting rights.

 

The bill also outlines factors courts must consider when hearing challenges to voting practices, such as the history of official voting discrimination in the state or political subdivision.

 

In addition, the bill (1) includes certain protections for election workers, polling places, and election infrastructure; and (2) expands voting access on tribal lands.

 

Liberty Bell image by Andrea Hamilton from Pixabay

Image by David Marks from Pixabay

 

 

 

Anchorage Youth Vote

The ERA and the VRAA

EQUAL RIGHTS AMENDMENT

Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex. --Section 1 of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA).

 

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixbay

The ERA - Some history, why this is important and resources for more information
AERAInfoWeb.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [52.8 KB]
19th Amendment - Community Perspective by Sue Sherif in Fairbanks Daily News-Miner 8/30/2020
Sue Sherif 19th amendment FDNM.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [87.7 KB]

Watch "The Reunited States" documentary and join a zoom conversation on the film.

Organized by the Central Kenai Peninsula League of Women Voters


September 25, 2021 

LWV Alaska Statement Concerning
the 2020 General Election

 

December 12, 2020

 

STATEMENT CONCERNING THE 2020 GENERAL ELECTION

 

The League of Women Voters of Alaska wishes to thank the Alaska Division of Elections for a successful General Election.  The success of this election during a difficult pandemic was due in part to Director Gail Fenumiai, the four Regional Election Supervisors, and the Division employees who did a formidable job of training volunteers and making sure that all precincts had the supplies needed and the safest work environment possible. In addition, the election process requires a small army of citizens dedicated to the notion that a free and fair election is necessary in a democracy.  Fortunately Alaska has many such citizens who volunteered to work in the election day precinct locations, the early vote stations, and behind the scenes to prepare materials for the election, to check in and verify mailed-in ballots,  and to assist in the counting and the recounting of ballots when required.  In spite of the pandemic, the Division of Elections was able to hold a free and fair election thanks to the many dedicated citizens involved.

 

Unfortunately we have heard lately claims of election fraud.  However, what most citizens who have never worked on an election don't see is the amount of effort that goes into an election to assure that votes are legally cast and that fraud is nonexistent.  For those who fear that fraud might be happening, the best cure is to volunteer for the next election in your area and learn more about the safeguards in place.

 

This year the League of Women Voters is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which guaranteed women the right to vote.  The LWV grew out of that effort with the determination to make democracy work for all citizens and today advocates for policies that have the potential to strengthen our democracy.  League members, both men and women, continue to work toward a strong democracy for all citizens.

 

Judy Andree, President

Introduction to the For the People Act
210705_IntroForthePeople.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [39.2 KB]
Summary of the For the People Act by LWV of the United States
210705_SummaryFTPA.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [79.4 KB]
Finish the Ballot
Op-Ed - Finish the Ballot - Bud Carpenet[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [106.1 KB]
2020 General Election Voters Guide - US House and Senate
2020GenElectionVG.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [276.3 KB]
2020 Voters Guide - Reponses from US House of Representatives Candidates
2020 VG RESPHouseforLWVAK.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [126.7 KB]
2020 Voters Guide - Senate Responses to LWVAK
2020_SenRespforLWVAk.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [218.8 KB]
Women's March Speech by Bridget Smith - January 18th, 2020
Womens_March_Speech_01_18_20.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [200.9 KB]
2020 Census Handout
Census_Handout_WomensMarch.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [136.7 KB]
Statement in Response to the Murder of George Floyd
FinalDraftGeoFloydDeath.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [45.4 KB]
LWVAK Climate Emergency Resolution
FINALLWVAK ClimateEmergencyResolution.pd[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [65.1 KB]
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Policy of the League of Women Voters of Alaska
FinalLWVAKDEIPolicy.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [40.3 KB]
The ERA - Some history, Why is this important, Resources for more
AERAInfoWeb.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [52.8 KB]
VRAA Information
VRAAInfoWeb.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [53.4 KB]
Sen. Murkowski Press Release
MurkowskiPressRelVRAA.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [58.1 KB]
Voting_Pandemic_flyer.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [246.6 KB]
Voting in Alaska during the pandemic
Voting_Pandemic_flyer.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [246.6 KB]
19th Amendment - Community Perspective by Sue Sherif in Fairbanks Daily News Miner 8/30/2020
Sue Sherif 19th amendment FDNM.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [87.7 KB]

State Board Members

Alex Koplin, Co-President &

(Central Kenai Peninsula) 2023

Sue Sherif, Co-President
(Tanana Valley) 2023

Marianne Mills, Vice-President
(Juneau) 2023

Sandy Garity, Secretary
(Central Kenai Peninsula) 2024

Shirley Pittz, Treasurer
(Anchorage) 2023
Judy Andree, Past-President
(Juneau) 2023

Directors

Carol Dickason

(Anchorage) 2023

Gayle Garrigues

(Tanana Valley) 2023

Shari George

(Tanana Valley) 2024

Therese Lewandowski

(Central Kenai Peninsula) 2024

Pat Redmond

(Anchorage) 2023

Cathleen Rolph

(Central Kenai Peninsula) 2023

Local League Presidents

Shirley Pittz

LWV of Anchorage 2023

Gail Knopf & Cathleen Rolph
Central Kenai Peninsula League of Women Voters 2023

Janna Miller & Sue Sherif
LWV of Tanana Valley 2023

Kirsa Hughes-Skandjis

LWV of Juneau 2023

Register to Vote

If you are a U.S. citizen and you are at least 18 years old, you can vote. In most states, before you can vote you need to register. Registration must be completed 30 days before Election Day.

 

Click to Register

 

Register to Vote now! Make sure you fill out the form completely; then print, sign, and mail it to the address given.

Below are the Facebook pages for Alaska.

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