PFD voter registration campaign to turn signatures Thursday

It looks like a voter initiative that would automatically register thousands of Alaskans to vote thinks they have the signatures needed to go on the ballot this year.

Here is the press release distributed earlier today from the group called PFD Voter Registration:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 11, 2016

CONTACT:   John-Henry Heckendorn, Campaign Manager, (978) 807-8576, j.heckendorn@shipcreekgroup.com

ANCHORAGE — The PFD Voter Registration ballot initiative group is delighted to announce that after four months of hard work by signature gatherers across Alaska, the campaign will submit more than 125% of the required number of signatures to the Division of Elections on Thursday, January 14th.

Before dropping off signatures, the campaign will hold a short press conference at 11 AM at the CIRI building. Initiative Co-Chairs Kim Reitmeier, Tim Kacillas, and Aaron Schutt will speak and be on hand to answer questions.

Campaign representatives and volunteers will then carry the boxes across the street to the Division of Elections offices on Gambell at approximately 11:45 am.

Co-Chair Kim Reitmeier, President of the ANCSA Regional Association, said, “Alaska has some of the most stringent ballot initiative signature requirements in the country, requiring organizers to gather signatures all over the state. We couldn’t have achieved this herculean task without the volunteers in Kotzebue, Bethel, Fairbanks, Sitka, Ketchikan and elsewhere… But most importantly, we couldn’t have done it without the support of Alaskans committed to a better future.”

Scott Kohlhaas, Director of the PFD Voter signature drive, said, “The fact that we needed 28,545 signatures and ended up with over 42,000 in just 4 months speaks to the strong support for this proposal. This initiative polled at over 60% support back in August, even before the campaign really got going, and we could see that enthusiasm demonstrated over and over again as we asked people to sign.”

Doors will open at 10:45 am and the press conference will start at 11 am on January 14th. The CIRI building is located at 725 E Fireweed Lane, just west of the Seward Highway. The campaign will provide press packets and a Dropbox link to photos and graphics.

Also on hand will be representatives from each of the campaign’s coalition partners, including organizations like the League of Women Voters, Great Alaska Schools, AFN, the NAACP, Our Alaska, Tanana Chiefs Conference, and more!

PFD Voter Registration is a common-sense ballot initiative that would synchronize voter registration with the Permanent Fund Dividend application process, reducing bureaucratic paperwork and saving on processing costs. PFD Voter Registration is projected to register as many as 70,000 Alaskans to vote in year one, and would fix out-of-date registration for tens of thousands more.

In order for PFD Voter Registration to appear on the ballot in 2016, the campaign is responsible for submitting 28,545 signatures from registered Alaskan voters to the Lieutenant Governor before the start of the 2016 legislative session on January 19th.

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