Sick of the election mailers and calls? Early in-person voting opens today, by-mail applications still open

(Photo by Matt Buxton/TMS)

The Alaska Division of Elections opened early in-person voting today for the Nov. 8 election at dozens of locations throughout Alaska, marking one of the easiest ways to take yourself on the mailing, calling and door-knocking lists.

Campaigns keen on maximizing their time and money keep track of who’s voted and who hasn’t with regularly updated lists by the Division of Elections. Don’t want to spend resources getting someone to vote who has already voted, after all. (Your mileage may vary, though, as I’m told Democratic campaigns are more on the ball than Republican campaigns when it comes to updating voter lists.)

Locations are open in throughout the state and they come in two flavors. There’s a handful of official Early Voting Locations, which come equipped with special equipment for voters who need additional help voting as well as a wider selection of house district ballots, where you’ll be casting an early vote. The other polling locations, which make up the majority of places to cast an early ballot, are technically absentee voting locations and are typically limited in what ballots they have available.

Beyond ballot selection, the real big difference between the two is that casting an early vote at an Early Voting Location will be reflected more quickly in the voter rolls the campaigns are working off. So, if you’re really keen on halting the targeted campaigning, the Early Vote Locations are the way to go.

Find a full list of polling locations here.

Voters wishing to cast their votes by mail still have that option. Applications for by-mail absentee voting are being taken through Saturday, though keep in mind that there’s been a bit of confusion over return postage. The messaging that comes with the ballots say they require 84 cents in postage—about two first-class forever stamps—but the U.S. Postal Service has indicated it will deliver ballots with insufficient postage.

Remember, though, when it comes to by-mail voting that very rarely will dropping it in the mailbox on election day mean that it gets the necessary election-day postmark. If you’re pushing up against election day, it’s a wise bet to either drop off your by-mail ballot to a voting location or to have it postmarked by hand by a postal worker.

Election day is Nov. 8. Results in contested races in multi-candidate races where no candidate crosses the 50% threshold will be determined through the state’s new ranked choice voting system, which leaves the tabulation for about two weeks after election day. Hold tight.

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