Josie Bahnke | State of Alaska">
JUNEAU – Hundreds of Alaskans are taking advantage of a new online voter registration available through the Alaska Division of Elections.
“I was pleased to see that since the system went live at the end of November, 592 voter registrations have been completed by citizens across the state,” said Lt. Governor Byron Mallott who oversees the division. The online system, voterregistration.alaska.gov, is part of the new elections management system that has been in the works for several years.
As an added bonus, the division partnered with the Department of Revenue’s Permanent Fund Dividend Division to provide a link for Alaskans to register to vote after they finish their 2016 dividend application.
“It is our hope that Alaskans completing a PFD application will take the opportunity to register to vote or update their name, address or political affiliation” said Elections Director Josie Bahnke.
In other elections news, Bahnke announced that the Division has hired Indra Arriaga as the Elections Language Assistance Compliance Manager. The position is required under the 2015 settlement terms of the Toyukak Language Assistance case. Under the terms of the agreement, the State will provide increased language assistance for Yup’ik-speaking voters in the Dillingham and Kusilvak (formerly Wade Hampton) census areas and for Gwich’in speaking voters in the Yukon-Koyukuk census area.
“I was drawn to this position because it was created to ensure that Alaskans have access to electoral information that gives them an opportunity to exercise their right to vote and be actively engaged in shaping their society, expressing their needs, and holding governing entities accountable,” Arriaga said as she began work this week from her office at the Region II Elections office in Anchorage.
Ms. Arriaga will be responsible for administering and coordinating all activities necessary for the Division to comply with the Federal Voting Rights Act. Arriaga has worked with federal, state and local governments, tribes and Alaska Native organizations in public policy, program management and community economic development. She also spent several years with the Alaska Department of Community and Economic Development and later as a consultant at Information Insights and Arriaga Research Consultants.