The Anchorage League of Women Voters has sent a resolution to the State of Alaska asking it to adopt the mail-in ballot for the General Election. It’s not clear from the resolution if the League wants only Anchorage to be able to conduct the General Election with a mail-in ballot, or if the League expects the entire state to “go postal” in November. The resolution sent to the Division of Elections leaves that open to interpretation and seems to suggest a hybrid of regular and mail-in voting for areas outside of Anchorage. But Anchorage would be all mail-in, as it did in the Municipal Election in April. The wording “supports the State of Alaska utilizing the Municipality of Anchorage new vote-by-mail system beginning with the State of Alaska elections in 2018;” It’s the first public push from mail-in ballot proponents to get the entire state on the system.
Changing the voting system, however, would require a change in state statute, which is not likely to happen this year, as the Legislature has already adjourned.
Even if statute is changed, it took Anchorage a year and a half to prepare for mail-in voting — and even then it did not go off without a hitch. Hundreds of ballots were returned undeliverable and cost overruns were extraordinary: It squeezed the taxpayers for more than $1 million, twice what it had cost to provide a traditional election.