Dunleavy Voting Reform (SB 167/HB 286)

Talking Points and How to Contact Your Legislator

What Is House Bill 286/ Senate Bill 167?

SB 167/HB 286 are companion bills, introduced by Gov. Dunleavy, that will make it harder to vote in Alaska, putting our democracy at risk. This bill removes automatic voter registration, prevents voters from using an alternate ID to vote, and prevents family members and friends from helping each other vote.

Why your voice is needed:

Right now we are facing attacks on our Democracy at the local, state, and federal levels. We must stand up now to protect our voices and ensure Democracy stays safe and accessible for all Alaskans. Our Democracy works best when everyone participates, and when our Legislators get comments and calls from Alaskans, it really makes the difference. Just one or two unique comments can sway a decision-maker. You don’t need to be an expert to make a comment. Short and sweet comments are effective.

How You Can Take Action:

  • Find Your Your Legislator

    You can find contact information for your House Member and Alaska State Senator here. Enter your address and scroll down to the bottom of the page. Then make a plan to call or email, OR BOTH! Find Your Legislator>>

  • Make a Plan To Call

    Write down what you want to say, or highlight the talking points you want to speak on. Don’t worry, you don’t need to be an expert. If you call during regular office hours you may reach a staff member, If you call after hours you will likely be leaving a voicemail. Make sure you let them know who you are, and where you live. Telling a personal story is impactful.

  • Prepare an Email

    Use the talking points below to draft an email. Short and sweet emails are impactful. Make sure to include who you are and where you live. Telling a personal story is impactful. Don’t worry! You don’t need to be an expert.

Talking Points:

  • There is no evidence that voter fraud occurred in the last election: these bills are a part of the national trend to put up barriers to voting, a trend that has grown significantly as conspiracy theories have grown about the 2020 election.
  • The bills contain a number of different changes to our election statutes. While some of the ideas, like those relating to ballot curing, appear to be bipartisan reforms, the bills contain numerous constraints on voting in Alaska. The bills package positive reforms with horrible ones: do not be fooled by the poison pill.
  • The bills would eliminate the statute passed by a citizen’s initiative which created an automatic voter registration system when an Alaskan 18 years and older files for their Permanent Fund Dividend. Thousands of Alaskans have been registered to vote due to automatic voter registration. Repealing this will decrease voter registration in Alaska. 
  • The bills also propose to require that signature on an absentee ballot be matched to one on file with the state. If the signatures don’t match, a voter would have two days to verify their ballot. If it’s not verified, their vote is rejected. Voters whose mailed ballots arrive after Election Day may not have an opportunity to verify their ballot if it is flagged for problems. This is another example of ways that voting would be made more difficult and complicated.  
  • These bills would require the state to stringently examine and audit its list of registered voters, setting up the potential for voter purges.  According to the Brennan Center for Justice, “voter purges are an often-flawed process of clean­ing up voter rolls by delet­ing names from regis­tra­tion lists. While updat­ing regis­tra­tion lists as voters die, move, or other­wise become ineligible is neces­sary and import­ant, when done irre­spons­ibly — with bad data or when two voters are confused for the same person — the process can knock eligible voters off the roll en masse, often with little notice. Many voters discover they’re no longer listed only when they arrive at the polling place. As a result, many eligible Amer­ic­ans either don’t vote or are forced to cast provi­sional ballots.”
  • Third-party groups would no longer be able to help voters deliver a completed absentee ballot to a dropbox or mailbox. This means that, for example, voters who are mobility limited and have historically relied on assistance from a caretaker to deliver their ballots to a drop box would no longer be able to.
  • There would be new definitions for election fraud and illegal activity, and new procedures for election observers. This furthers the fraudulent narrative that significant illegality occurs in our election system.
  • There would be a toll-free number where voters could report suspicious activity at the polls, increasing the likelihood that callers can weaponize this service to cultivate suspicious and mistrust around elections in Alaska, and that the state hotline would be flooded with allegations of illegality.

Example Unique Comment:

Dear Elected Official,

My name is Kyla Kosednar and I live in Palmer Alaska. I’m writing to you to let you know that I do not support SB 167/HB 286. During the last election, I voted by mail. Unfortunately the election worker could not match my signature to my ballot and it was rejected. I was notified by the Division of Elections too late to fix my ballot, so my vote was not counted. I support legislation that makes it easier to vote, not harder. Please DO NOT support SB 167/HB 286. 

Thank you, 
Kyla Kosednar, Palmer AK.