Voting deadline looms

Posted: Thursday, August 30, 2001

Attention, citizens of a free democracy: The deadline to register to vote in the municipal election is fast approaching.

The Kenai Peninsula Borough election will be Oct. 2, and the deadline to register, if you are not already on the voter rolls or need to change your address, is Sunday.

But there is a catch. Most places with voter registration forms will be closed Saturday and Sunday. Even some public libraries, normally open Saturdays, will be closed because of the Labor Day holiday.

"Sometimes it is difficult to have people available to do those last-minute registrations," said Pam Crowe, state election supervisor.

"Nothing comes to mind that would be open Sunday."

Voter registration forms are available at the following central peninsula locations:

Borough Building -- 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. today and Friday;

City of Kenai -- 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. today and Friday;

City of Soldotna -- 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. today and Friday;

Kenai Community Library -- 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. today, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and closed Saturday for the holiday;

Soldotna Public Library -- 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. today, noon to 6 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday; and

Department of Motor Vehicles -- 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. today and Friday.

If you register at one of these locations, your registration is officially dated the day one of the authorized registrars there signs as witness to your application signature.

However, registrars and witnesses are no longer necessary. You can fill out a form without them and submit by mail or fax. Mailing instructions are on the application.

The catch is that mailed registrations must be postmarked by Sunday to qualify. Since no Kenai Peninsula post offices are open on Sunday, that means the real mailing deadline is Saturday -- before your post office closes for the day.

Procrastinators have one more chance after that.

People now can visit the state Web site and download the form. The address is: Follow the links to get the registration instructions and the registration form.

Online registration is not yet available. You must print out the form, complete it and submit it. In some cases copies of identification may be required. See the instructions for details.

Forms may be faxed to the Division of Elections until the end of Sunday. The nearest office is the Region II headquarters in Anchorage; the fax number there is (907) 522-2341.

Other fax numbers are on the forms and Web site.

"They can definitely fax it to me. As long as it is received on Sunday, it counts as being received on time," Crowe said.

To qualify to vote, she said, a person must meet the following criteria:

Be an Alaska resident for 30 days prior to the election, which is why there is a registration deadline.

Be 18 or older at the time of the election. A person who is 17 may register as long as 90 days before their birthday, as long as they have their birthday on or before the election itself.

Be a citizen of the United States.

Not be convicted of a felony or under court supervision. If you have had your rights unconditionally restored, you may vote.

This year's municipal ballot on the Kenai Peninsula will include three propositions dealing with the size of the borough assembly, a bond to expand the Borough Building and the private prison proposal, as well as borough assembly seats, school board seats, city elections (including one for the mayor of Kenai) and numerous service area boards.

Absentee ballots will be available starting Sept. 17.

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