HB 141: "An Act providing for preferential voting in state and local elections."
00HOUSE BILL NO. 141 01 "An Act providing for preferential voting in state and local elections." 02 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA: 03 * Section 1. AS 15.15.030 is amended by adding a new paragraph to read: 04 (14) The director shall design the ballot to accommodate preferential 05 voting for candidates for the offices of governor and lieutenant governor, for 06 candidates for the legislature, and for candidates for the United States Congress. The 07 ballot shall direct voters to mark candidates in order of preference and to mark as 08 many choices as they wish, but not to assign a particular ranking to more than one 09 candidate. 10 * Sec. 2. AS 15.15.350 is amended by adding a new subsection to read: 11 (c) When counting ballots, the election board shall first count the first choice 12 votes. If a candidate has obtained a majority of the first choice votes, further counting 13 is not necessary. If no candidate has obtained a majority of the first choice votes, then 14 the candidate receiving the least number of first choice votes is eliminated, and the
01 election board shall count the second choice votes of those voters who selected the 02 eliminated candidate as their first choice and add those second choice votes to the first 03 choice votes for the remaining candidates. The election board shall continue this 04 process of elimination until one candidate has a majority of the votes or is the sole 05 remaining candidate. If a ballot has no more available preferences, that ballot shall be 06 declared void. A ballot assigning a particular ranking to more than one candidate for 07 an office shall be declared invalid when the double ranking is reached. If a ballot 08 skips a ranking, then the election board shall count the next ranking. 09 * Sec. 3. AS 15.15.360(a) is amended to read: 10 (a) The election board shall count hand-marked ballots according to the 11 following rules : [.] 12 (1) A voter may mark a ballot only by the use of cross-marks, "X" 13 marks, diagonal, horizontal , or vertical marks, solid marks, stars, circles, asterisks, 14 checks, or plus signs that are clearly spaced in the square opposite the name of the 15 candidate the voter desires to designate. In addition, a voter may mark a ballot by 16 the use of roman or arabic numerals that are clearly spaced in one of the squares 17 opposite the name of the candidate that the voter desires to designate. 18 (2) A failure to properly mark a ballot as to one or more candidates 19 does not itself invalidate the entire ballot. 20 (3) [IF A VOTER MARKS FEWER NAMES THAN THERE ARE 21 PERSONS TO BE ELECTED TO THE OFFICE, A VOTE SHALL BE COUNTED 22 FOR EACH CANDIDATE PROPERLY MARKED. 23 (4) IF A VOTER MARKS MORE NAMES THAN THERE ARE 24 PERSONS TO BE ELECTED TO THE OFFICE, THE VOTES FOR CANDIDATES 25 FOR THAT OFFICE MAY NOT BE COUNTED. 26 (5)] The mark specified in (1) of this subsection shall be counted only 27 if it is substantially inside the square provided [,] or touching the square so as to 28 indicate clearly that the voter intended the particular square to be designated. 29 (4) [(6)] Improper marks on the ballot may not be counted and do not 30 invalidate marks for candidates properly made. 31 (5) [(7)] An erasure or correction invalidates only that section of the
01 ballot in which it appears. 02 (6) [(8)] A vote marked for the candidate for President or Vice- 03 President of the United States is considered and counted as a vote for the election of the 04 presidential electors. 05 (7) [(9)] Write-in votes are not invalidated by writing in the name of 06 a candidate whose name is printed on the ballot unless the election board determines, 07 on the basis of other evidence , that the ballot was so marked for the purpose of 08 identifying the ballot. 09 (8) [(10)] Stickers bearing a candidate's name may be affixed to the 10 ballot in place of writing in a candidate's name if write-in votes are otherwise 11 permitted. Stickers may not be issued by members of the election board while serving 12 at the polls. Stickers may not be offered to voters within 200 feet of the polling place. 13 (9) [(11)] In order to vote for a write-in candidate, the voter must write 14 in the candidate's name in the space provided or place a sticker in the space and, in 15 addition, mark the square opposite the candidate's name in accordance with (1) of this 16 subsection. 17 * Sec. 4. AS 15.15.370 is amended to read: 18 Sec. 15.15.370. Completion of ballot count. When the count of ballots is 19 completed, and in no event later than the day after the election, the election board shall 20 make a certificate in duplicate of the results. The certificate includes the number of 21 votes cast for each candidate, including the number of votes at each stage of the 22 elimination process, and the number of votes for and against each proposition, yes 23 or no on each question, and any additional information prescribed by the director. The 24 election board shall, immediately upon completion of the certificate or as soon 25 thereafter as the local mail service permits, send in one sealed package to the director 26 one copy of the certificate and the register. In addition, all ballots properly cast shall 27 be mailed to the director in a separate, sealed package. Both packages, in addition to 28 an address on the outside, shall clearly indicate the precinct from which they come. 29 Each board shall, immediately upon completion of the certification and as soon 30 thereafter as the local mail service permits, send the duplicate certificate to the 31 respective election supervisor. The director may authorize election boards in precincts
01 in those areas of the state where distance and weather make mail communication 02 unreliable to forward their election results by telephone, telegram , or radio. The 03 director may authorize the unofficial totaling of votes on a regional basis by election 04 supervisors, tallying the votes as indicated on duplicate certificates. To assure 05 adequate protection , the director shall prescribe the manner in which the ballots, 06 registers, and all other election records and materials are thereafter preserved, 07 transferred, and destroyed. 08 * Sec. 5. AS 15.20.730(b) is amended to read: 09 (b) The computer shall be programmed to count ballots as follows: 10 (1) a vote may be counted only if the punch is clearly spaced in one 11 of the squares [SQUARE] following the name of the candidate the voter desires to 12 select; 13 (2) if there is only one square marked for a team whose names are on 14 separate lines, such as president and vice-president or governor and lieutenant 15 governor, a punch in the square or elsewhere in the rectangle following the names 16 shall be counted for that team; 17 (3) a failure to properly punch a ballot card as to one or more 18 candidates does not itself invalidate the entire ballot; 19 (4) [IF A VOTER PUNCHES FEWER NAMES THAN THERE ARE 20 PERSONS TO BE ELECTED TO THE OFFICE, A VOTE SHALL BE COUNTED 21 FOR EACH CANDIDATE PROPERLY MARKED; 22 (5) IF A VOTER PUNCHES MORE NAMES THAN THERE ARE 23 PERSONS TO BE ELECTED TO THE OFFICE, THE VOTES FOR CANDIDATES 24 TO THAT OFFICE MAY NOT BE COUNTED; 25 (6)] improper marks on the ballots may not be counted and do not 26 invalidate punches for candidates properly made; 27 (5) [(7)] an erasure or correction invalidates only that section of the 28 ballot in which it appears; 29 (6) [(8)] a vote marked for the candidate for President of the United 30 States is considered and counted as a vote for the election of presidential electors. 31 * Sec. 6. AS 29.26.060 is amended by adding a new subsection to read:
01 (d) A municipality may, by ordinance, provide for preferential voting under 02 which voters rank candidates in order of preference, and, if no candidate obtains a 03 majority of first-choice votes, votes are transferred in sequential tabulations according 04 to voters' preferences in the manner set out in AS 15.15.350(c).