SSHB 224: "An Act establishing, for purposes of administration of state elections, the category of permanent absentee voter, authorizing registration of voters as permanent absentee voters, eliminating the requirement of application for absentee ballots by qualified voters whom the division of elections has determined are permanent absentee voters, directing the division of elections to mail absentee ballots to permanent absentee voters, and annulling the current administrative regulation applicable to a person designated as permanent absentee voter; and providing for an effective date."
00SPONSOR SUBSTITUTE FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 224 01 "An Act establishing, for purposes of administration of state elections, the 02 category of permanent absentee voter, authorizing registration of voters as 03 permanent absentee voters, eliminating the requirement of application for absentee 04 ballots by qualified voters whom the division of elections has determined are 05 permanent absentee voters, directing the division of elections to mail absentee 06 ballots to permanent absentee voters, and annulling the current administrative 07 regulation applicable to a person designated as permanent absentee voter; and 08 providing for an effective date." 09 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA: 10 * Section 1. PURPOSE. The purpose of this Act is 11 (1) to codify, with modifications, the provisions of 6 AAC 25.650, a regulation 12 that establishes a class of voters known as permanent absentee voters; and 13 (2) to direct that absentee ballots, rather than absentee ballot applications, be 14 mailed to these voters in all state elections.
01 * Sec. 2. AS 15.07 is amended by adding a new section to read: 02 Sec. 15.07.145. REGISTRATION IDENTIFYING VOTER AS A 03 PERMANENT ABSENTEE VOTER. The director shall maintain the list of registered 04 voters so that the names of persons who are qualified as permanent absentee voters 05 under AS 15.20.025 may be readily identified. 06 * Sec. 3. AS 15.20.010 is amended to read: 07 Sec. 15.20.010. PERSONS WHO MAY VOTE ABSENTEE. At any election, 08 a qualified voter may vote an absentee ballot for the district in which the voter resides 09 and is registered if the voter 10 (1) believes that the voter will be unavoidably absent from the proper 11 voting precinct on election day, whether inside the state or not; [OR] 12 (2) will be unable to be present at the polls because of physical 13 disability; or 14 (3) is qualified as a permanent absentee voter under AS 15.20.025 15 [REPEALED]. 16 * Sec. 4. AS 15.20 is amended by adding a new section to read: 17 Sec. 15.20.025. PERMANENT ABSENTEE VOTER. The director or an 18 election supervisor shall designate a person as a permanent absentee voter if the person 19 is a qualified voter under AS 15.05.010 and if 20 (1) the director or the election supervisor determines that 21 (A) the voter resides in a remote area in the state where 22 distance, terrain, or other natural conditions deny the voter reasonable access 23 to the voter's polling place; or 24 (B) the voter resides in an institution in the state serving the 25 aged, disabled, or handicapped as the voter's permanent residence; or 26 (2) the voter is otherwise unable to go to the voter's polling place 27 because of age, disability, or handicap, and has requested in writing that the director 28 or election supervisor designate the voter as a permanent absentee voter. 29 * Sec. 5. AS 15.20 is amended by adding a new section to read: 30 Sec. 15.20.085. VOTING BY MAIL BY PERMANENT ABSENTEE 31 VOTERS. (a) Except as provided in (b) of this section, for each state primary,
01 general, and special election, and each other election for which the state has 02 responsibility for the conduct of the election, the director or an election supervisor 03 shall send an absentee ballot to each voter designated as a permanent absentee voter 04 under AS 15.20.025 whose name appears on the official registration list prepared under 05 AS 15.07.125 and 15.07.145 for that election and who is otherwise qualified to vote 06 in that election. The ballot shall be sent to the permanent mailing address set out on 07 the official registration list unless the voter has notified the director or an election 08 supervisor of a different address to which the ballot should be sent. The director shall 09 send the ballots 10 (1) by first class, nonforwardable mail; and 11 (2) not later than the 15th day before the election. 12 (b) Nothing in this section requires the director to send an absentee ballot 13 under (a) of this section to a permanent absentee voter after the director receives actual 14 notice that mail sent to the voter's permanent mailing address or to a different address 15 provided by a voter under (a) of this section is undeliverable to the voter at the 16 address. 17 (c) A permanent absentee voter to whom a ballot is provided under (a) of this 18 section may cast the ballot under AS 15.20.081(d) and (e). 19 (d) The director shall review ballots voted under this section under procedures 20 established for the review of absentee ballots under AS 15.20.201 and 15.20.203. 21 (e) Nothing in this section limits a voter's eligibility to vote 22 (1) in person at a precinct under AS 15.15.195 or 15.15.198; 23 (2) in person before an absentee voting official under AS 15.20.061; 24 or 25 (3) through a personal representative under AS 15.20.071. 26 * Sec. 6. 6 AAC 25.650 is annulled. 27 * Sec. 7. This Act takes effect immediately under AS 01.10.070(c).