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How to Vote in Alaska’s 2022 Elections

En español | Alaska’s Nov. 8 general election includes races for U.S. House and Senate, state House and Senate, governor, lieutenant governor and more. The primaries and a special general election to replace the late U.S. Rep. Don Young in Alaska’s lone U.S. House seat were held on Aug. 16.

Essential info:

  • Absentee voting by mail: is available to all Alaskans for November’s general election. Voters must apply to receive a ballot by mail. Note that absentee ballots require a witness signature. 
  • Early in-person absentee voting: is available to all Alaska voters for the general election. Most in-person absentee voting locations opened on Monday, Oct. 24. Opening hours and days vary by location. Information is available on the Division of Election's website.
  • In-person voting on Election Day: is available for the Tuesday, Nov. 8 general election. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

What’s new this year?

Alaska is using a new voting system this year, featuring a nonpartisan top four primary election and a ranked-choice voting general election.

And a new redistricting plan changed some boundaries of state legislative districts, which may affect which candidates appear on your ballot. Some districts are being contested in the courts, so check back for updates.

For general inquiries, contact the Division of Elections at 907-465-4611.

What's on the ballot and who's running?

  • U.S. Senate: one seat; Patricia Chesbro (D), incumbent Lisa Murkowski (R), Kelly Tshibaka (R)
  • U.S. House: one seat; Nick Begich (R), Chris Bye (L), Sarah Palin (R), incumbent Mary Peltola (D)
  • State Senate: 19 of 20 seats, due to recent redistricting
  • State House: all 40 seats
  • Governor/Lieutenant Governor: incumbent Mike Dunleavy/Nancy Dahlstrom (R), Les Gara/ Jessica Cook (D), Charlie Pierce/Edie Grunwald (R), Bill Walker/Heidi Drygas (I)
  • Constitutional Convention Question

Visit the Division of Elections' website for sample ballots.

How will ranked-choice voting work in the general elections?

The state’s nonpartisan top four primary elections, held on Aug. 16, determined the candidates in each race who are advancing to the general election. 

For each race in the general election, voters will rank their choices in order of preference. In the first round of vote counting, only voters’ first preferences are tallied. For a candidate to win, he or she must receive a majority — 50 percent plus one vote — of all first-choice votes cast. If no candidate gets a majority in the first round of counting, a second round is conducted in which the last-place candidate from round one is eliminated and his or her supporters’ votes are reallocated to their second preference. This process continues until one candidate reaches over 50 percent of the votes or until there are two candidates remaining and the candidate with the most votes wins. 

View a sample ballot for the general election, and read more on ranked-choice voting on the Division of Elections’ website.

Video courtesy of AARP Alaska

Why are there two elections for Alaska's U.S. House seat this year?

A special election to replace U.S. Rep. Don Young (R), who died in March, was held in August at the same time as the state’s primaries. Mary Peltola (D) won, taking Young’s place in Alaska’s lone U.S. House seat until January 2022, when the next Congress is sworn in.

The November general election will determine who will serve in that U.S. House seat from January onward. 

How can I get an absentee ballot? Are there important deadlines?

Absentee ballots are delivered to voters by mail, fax or an online system. For November's general election, the deadline for an absentee ballot delivered by mail has passed. 

Any voter can apply for a by-mail absentee ballot in future elections:

When applying by mail, fax, email or in person, you’ll need to provide a numerical identifier: either your Alaska driver’s license number, Alaska ID card number, or the last four digits of your Social Security number.

Ballots start being mailed to voters approximately 25 days before Election Day unless you requested an advanced ballot (for active military members, those living overseas, those living, working or traveling in remote Alaska and some others), which are mailed approximately 45 days prior to Election Day.

What if I miss the deadline to request a by-mail absentee ballot but need to vote absentee?

You can apply for an absentee ballot to be faxed or electronically delivered to you, but you must use a different application form. Completed applications for faxed or electronically delivered absentee ballots must be received by 5 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 7.

If you request a by-fax absentee ballot, your ballot will be faxed to you 24 to 48 hours after receipt of your application with instructions on how to complete it.

If you request an electronically delivered ballot, you’ll need an email address, access to a computer and a printer. You’ll be emailed a link to your digital ballot 24 to 48 hours after receipt of your application with instructions on how to complete it. Note that your digital ballot cannot be submitted electronically; it must be printed and returned in a hard-copy form.

How do I submit my completed absentee ballot? Are there important deadlines?

Completed absentee ballots require a witness signature and must be accompanied by at least one voter identifier: either your voter registration number, the last four digits of your Social Security number, date of birth, Alaska driver’s license number or Alaska ID card number.

Return completed ballots:

  • By mail: Mail your completed ballot to the return address provided with your ballot. The completed ballot must be postmarked on or before Election Day to be counted.
  • In person: Drop off your completed ballot at any Division of Elections office or any voting location by 8 p.m. on Election Day.
  • By fax: But only if you requested a by-fax or electronically delivered absentee ballot. Fax your completed ballot to the number provided with your ballot before 8 p.m. on Election Day. Election officials note that when you return a ballot by fax you are voluntarily waiving your right to a secret ballot and are assuming the risk that a faulty transmission may occur.
A polling places in Eagle River, Alaska, during the 2020 general election.
A polling places in Eagle River, Alaska, during the 2020 general election.

Can I track my absentee ballot?

Check the status of both your absentee ballot application and your completed absentee ballot through the state’s voter information portal. Note that this tool will not provide tracking information to voters who elected to keep their residential address private. Instead, those voters must contact the Absentee and Petition Office at 907-270-2700 or toll-free within the U.S. at 877-375-6508 or

Can I vote in person before Election Day?

Yes, at in-person absentee voting locations. Most locations opened Monday, Oct. 24, for the general election; however, opening dates and times may vary. Visit Alaska’s early and in-person absentee voting locations page for more information.

When is Election Day? When are polls open?

The general election is Tuesday, Nov. 8. Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Use the state's polling place information page to find your polling place, and note that it may have changed due to recent redistricting.

Do I need identification to vote?

Yes. When voting in person, you’ll be asked for your voter ID card, driver’s license, state ID, military ID, passport, hunting or fishing license, or another current valid photo ID. If you don’t have one of these IDs, you may present a current utility bill, paycheck, government check, bank statement or another government-issued document. If an election official knows the identity of the voter, the official can waive the ID unless it’s a first-time voter who registered without providing identification.

How do I register to vote?

Note that most Alaskans are automatically registered to vote when they apply for a Permanent Fund Dividend unless they opt out. Check if you’re registered to vote through the state’s voter information portal.

Note that the registration deadline (Sunday, Oct. 9) for the general election has passed. Those who need to register for future elections can do so:

  • Online: Use the state’s online voter registration system to register or update your registration. You’ll need a current Alaska driver’s license or Alaska ID card.
  • By email, mail or fax: Print a voter registration application, complete and sign it, then email, mail or fax it to any Division of Elections office. You’ll need to provide the last four numbers of your Social Security number or a copy of either your current Alaska driver’s license, Alaska ID card, passport or birth certificate.
  • In person: Go to any Division of Elections office or visit a voting registration agency in your area, which includes Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) offices, public assistance agencies, participating public libraries and participating tribal government offices. You’ll need a current Alaska driver’s license, Alaska ID card, passport, military ID card, hunting or fishing license, birth certificate, or another current and valid photo ID.

Editor’s note: This guide was updated on Oct. 31, 2022, with information about voting in the general election.

Also of Interest:

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