I Vote! I Count!

Mission

To empower Alaskans with disabilities and other Alaska Mental Health Beneficiaries to become active voters and part of the political process by eliminating voting barriers, promoting awareness of the voting process and helping people access their right to vote.

Why is Voting important? Voting is self-advocacy in action.

  • The fate of programs serving people with disabilities will be decided at the polls.
  • 14 million voting age Americans with disabilities are not registered to vote.
  • In the 2012 election, the voter turnout rate of people with disabilities was 5.7 percentage points lower than that of people without disabilities. There would be 3 million more voters with disabilities if they voted at the same rate as people without disabilities who are otherwise similar in age and other demographic characteristics.
  • There are approximately 83,000 Alaskans who experience disabilities with the same historically low voter registration and voter turnout.

How important is YOUR vote?

The #1 reason people do not vote is they feel their vote doesn’t matter. What possible difference could it make?

  • 2010: FOUR votes gave Dan Saddler, the Republican Party’s nomination for State Representative from Eagle River, House District 18, over Bill Cook in the Primary Election, following a recount.
  • 2010: TWELVE votes gave Eric Feige the Republican Party’s nomination for State Representative District 12 Chickaloon over Don Haase and SEVEN votes separated Don Haase from Pete Fellman in the Primary Election following a recount.
  • 2006: ZERO votes separated Bryce Edgmon from Carl Moses in State House District 37 Dillingham in the Primary Election, with 767 votes each as a result of the outcome of an appeal to the recount.  A coin toss determined Bryce Edgmon as the winner.

Nonpartisan Voting Engagement at your Nonprofit

Nonprofits have access to under-represented populations and have a unique relationship of trust with those they serve. Their clients might be intimidated by the process of physically going to the Division of Elections to register, but would be very comfortable registering during a visit to their service provider.

Out of 100 people registered at their nonprofits, 74% actually vote! What can and can’t you do as a nonprofit?

A 501(c)(3) may not:

  • Support or oppose a candidate for public office or a political party
  • Make an endorsement
  • Donate money or resources

A 501(c)(3) may:
Conduct nonpartisan voter engagement activities designed to educate the public and help them participate in elections via:

  • Voter Registration
  • Voter Education
  • Get Out the Vote [GOTV]
  • Candidate Engagement

Opportunity 2014

Nationally, the entire House of Representatives, 33 Senators and 36 Governors will be on ballots.  That includes Representative Don Young and Senator Mark Begich who have numberous challengers in a heated race that is receiving a lot of national attention.

In Alaska, we will see a spirited campaign between Governor Sean Parnell and Byron Mallott. All 40 seats in the Alaska House of Representatives are up for election. In the Senate, ten seats are up for four-year seats; four are up for two-year seats. Also, due to redistricting, all voting districts and many polling places have changed this year, leading to confusion for many voters.

There will be four Ballot Measures this election cycle that could have a significant impact on voter turnout, and what type of voter.

  • Ballot Measure #1 – An Act Relating to the Oil and Gas Production Tax, will be on the primary ballot. This is a referendum to overturn Senate Bill 21, which was passed by the Legislature in 2013.
  • Ballot Measure #2 – Know as the marijuana intuition;
  • Ballot Measure #3 – An act to increase the minimum wage; and
  • Ballot Measure #4 – Providing for protection for the Bristol Bay watershed.

Legislative Overview

Download the Legislative Overview presentation.

Voter Resources

Division of Elections

The State of Alaska Division of Elections is a great resource where you will be able to find information on:

The Alaska State Legislature

There is a wealth of information about the entire legislative process available through The Alaska State Legislature site. You can learn all about your legislator’s background and voting record, track bills, access committee information, follow the daily schedules and so much more.

Supporting voters with Disabilities

  • Ballots are available 15 days before the Primary or General Election at any Regional Elections Office
  • Touch screen voting machines
  • TTY
  • Alternate languages
  • Magnifying ballot

Voting Options

In person, at your polling place on Election Day.

Absentee Voting

National studies indicate that absentee voting increases voter engagement by 2-3%

  • In person – 15 days before an election.
  • By mail – deadline for applying is 10 days before an election.
  • By fax – 15 days before a Primary or General Election.
Absentee Voting by Mail
  • Absentee ballots can be requested at anytime during the year.
  • Application deadline is 10 days prior to an election.
  • To receive an absentee ballot by mail, you must first send an application by mail so your voter registration can be verified.
Absentee Voting by Fax
  • You waive your right to a secret ballot if you utilize this method.
  • You may request a ballot through the Division of Elections website.
  • You must apply separately for each election.
  • Vote your ballot, have your signature witnessed and verified, and fax according to instruction.
  • It must be receive by 8 pm on Election Day.

By Personal Representative

 Who can be a personal representative?

  • Anyone over 18, except a candidate for office in the election, the voter’s employer, an agent of the voter’s employee, or an officer or agent of the voter’s union.
  • Voter must complete a certificate authorizing the Personal Rep to carry their ballot.
  • Voters vote the ballot, places it in a secrecy sleeve and seals it inside the envelope provided.
  • Personal Rep brings the voted ballot back to the Election Official by 8 pm on Election Day.

Become a Registrar!

If you or someone in your agency would like to become Registrars to assist those you serve to become registered voters, we can provide that training at your agency or ours. Training is also is available through the Division of Elections.

Project Vote Smart

Project Vote Smart is a citizen's organization, that has developed a Voter's Self-Defense System to provide you with the necessary tools to self-govern effectively: abundant, accurate, unbiased and relevant information. (National and state resource.)

Other Resources

The Disability Law Center of Alaska

The Disability Law Center of of Alaska (DLC) is designated under federal law as the State of Alaska’s P&A agency. With offices in Anchorage, Fairbanks, and Juneau, DLC provides legally based advocacy to the disability community throughout Alaska.

The League of Women Voters

The League of Women Voters is a non-partisan organization that promotes political responsibility through information and active participation in government.

The U.S. Election Assistance Commission

The U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) has many resources for voters with disabilities.

  • The Accessible Voting Technology Initiative EAC Election Management Guide Chapter 9: Polling Place and Vote Center Management
  • EAC Election Management Guide Chapter 19: Accessibility
  • EAC Quick Start Guide on Serving Voters in Long-Term Care Facilities
  • EAC Quick Start Guide on Accessibility?
  • Making Polling Places Accessible Video

The American Association of People with Disabilities

The American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) is the nation's largest disability rights organization. We promote equal opportunity, economic power, independent living, and political participation for people with disabilities. Our members, including people with disabilities and our family, friends, and supporters, represent a powerful force for change.

Partners in Policymaking (PIP) promotes:

  • Awareness
  • Engagement
  • Action

Partners in Policymaking (PIP) is a national model of advocacy and leadership training. Alaska’s PIP Program is funded through the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority and has been designed for Trust beneficiaries and their families. This project identifies individuals from around the state who have not held a leadership position and helps them develop advocacy and leadership skills to improve the lives of Trust beneficiaries.

Recruitment for PIP Internship(s)

If you would like to know more about advocacy, how to make a real difference in your community or around the state, consider applying for the Partners in Policymaking Internship program! The internship programs are blended 6 session non-credit courses, which include weekly online sessions and a three-day face-to-face seminar in Anchorage.

Interns receive support for project activities, as well as funding for travel expenses to participate in project activities. On-going technical assistance from program staff is provided to all present and past interns.

Partners in Policymaking I Internship provides training in self-determination and individual advocacy. You will learn the basic advocacy skills necessary to create change in your own life and gain knowledge to become more successful in peer advocacy.

Partners in Policymaking II Internship is focused on public policy, advocacy and leadership development. Interns will have opportunities to apply their skills in local and state advocacy activities. Applicants for Partners in Policymaking II are expected to have successfully completed the Partners in Policymaking I internship.

Contact I Vote! I Count!


Stephanie George
(907) 264-6242
stephanie@alaskachd.org
Liz Winfree
(907) 264-6239
liz@alaskachd.org
UAA Center for Human Development
2702 Gambell St. Suite 103
Anchorage, Alaska 99503
Ph: (907) 272-8270
1 (800) 243-2199
TTY: (907) 264-6206
Fax: (907) 274-4802