According to the ballot initiative group PFD Voter Registration, they have gathered half the signatures required to put the issue before voters next year. The ballot initiative would require the Department of Elections to automatically register people to vote when they register to receive a Permanent Fund Dividend (PFD).
In order for the initiative to appear on a ballot in 2016, supporters must submit signatures from 10% of the total number of Alaskans who voted in the last general election. That means they have to get at least 28,545 signatures from registered voters. Next they would be required to submit the signatures to the Lieutenant Governor before the start of the 2016 legislative session on January 19th. The group must also ensure that its total represents 7% of the 2014 vote in 30 of Alaska’s 40 State House districts.
Organizers supporting the effort say last week they took inventory of signatures gathered, and confirmed that over 16,000 Alaskans have signed. They now have almost nine weeks to gather the rest of the signatures they need.
The proposed initiative is projected to register as many as 70,000 new Alaskans to vote in the first year alone, and would fix out-of-date registration for tens of thousands more. The initiative has also begun attracting support from prominent Alaska groups including the ANCSA Regional Association, Alaska Conservation Voters, ACLU of Alaska, League of Women Voters, Great Alaska Schools, Our Alaska (statewide organization of young professionals), and most recently, the Tanana Chiefs Conference.
If the organizers of the initiative are successful in collecting enough signatures, the Alaska Legislature will have the opportunity to pass substantially similar legislation before the end of the regular legislative session. If the Legislature doesn’t act, the issue would go to voters during either the primary or general election, depending on when the Legislature adjourns.
As of now, there appears to be no organized opposition to the PFD Voter Registration group.
You can learn more, including how to sign the initiative petition, at PFDVoter.com.
***PFD Voter Registration is an advertiser on The Midnight Sun***