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VRM in the States: Alaska

In a November 2016 referendum, Alaskans voted to institute automatic voter registration through the state’s Permanent Fund Dividend (PFD) Application.

Published: March 15, 2018

In a Novem­ber 2016 refer­en­dum, Alaskans voted to insti­tute auto­matic voter regis­tra­tion through the state’s Perman­ent Fund Dividend (PFD) Applic­a­tion. The PFD is a sum paid by the state to Alaska resid­ents, and eligible resid­ents must apply each year to receive it. The state imple­men­ted its auto­matic regis­tra­tion program in March 2017. Eligible voters are auto­mat­ic­ally registered to vote or have their exist­ing regis­tra­tion inform­a­tion updated when they complete their annual PFD applic­a­tion. Indi­vidu­als have the oppor­tun­ity to select a party affil­i­ation or decline regis­tra­tion via a mailer sent to them after their PFD inform­a­tion is received. Learn more about auto­matic regis­tra­tion here.

Prior Advances in Voter Regis­tra­tion Modern­iz­a­tion

This reform builds upon Alaska’s exist­ing voter regis­tra­tion modern­iz­a­tion efforts:

  • Online Voter Regis­tra­tion: Alaska launched online voter regis­tra­tion through the Divi­sion of Elec­tions in 2015. Eligible citizens with a state driver’s license or non-driver ID can use the system to register to vote and update their regis­tra­tion inform­a­tion.

Gains from Voter Regis­tra­tion Modern­iz­a­tion in Alaska

  • Between the launch of online voter regis­tra­tion in 2015 and the Novem­ber 2016 elec­tion, the state received 8,152 new voter regis­tra­tion applic­a­tions through its online portal.