by Vicki Turner Malone
Americans are deciding who is going to run for President of the United States (POTUS) in November of 2020? Hey, I’m an American. How do I, Cindy Civic Citizen, living in the YK area participate in the final selection of candidates for POTUS?
I tried explaining the whole process to a new young voter, and wow, did I confuse both of us! I can only think in numbers and boxes so here it is — just for the presidential nomination process in Alaska not statewide elections.
1. YOU MUST BE REGISTERED TO VOTE TO PARTICIPATE IN ANY PROCESS.
2. EACH OFFICIAL POLITICAL PARTY IN EACH STATE HAS ITS OWN RULES FOR SELECTING THE CANDIDATES WHO ARE RUNNING NATIONALLY for POTUS. After the state process is finished, each party sends their delegates to a national convention for the final selection. (This happens in the heat of the summer in some big hot city where people get really heated up.) The final nominees go on the ballot in our statewide election in November.
3. YOUR PARTY AFFILIATION DETERMINES WHICH NOMINATING PROCESS YOU CAN PARTICIPATE IN. (Voter affiliation is on your voter registration card under “Political Affiliation” or look up on line at the Division of Election website.)
4. PARTIES HAVING A PRESIDENTIAL SELECTION PROCESS IN ALASKA
• Alaska Republican Party: Nope. The party leadership decided last September to stick with Trump and forgo their statewide presidential preference poll.
• The Alaska Democratic Party: Yep. If you are a registered Democrat, you will receive a ballot by mail next week. It must be postmarked by March 24, 2020. Democrats can also vote in person in Bethel on April 4, 2020. April 4 is also an opportunity to register to vote. (More next week.)
• Alaska Independence Party: Nope. Nothing on their website.
After writing this, I had some of my friends (all Dummies) read this and ask questions. Here we go:
CAN I CHANGE MY PARTY AFFILIATION?
Yes. Go online to https://voterregistration.alaska.gov. If you are in Bethel on April 04, 2020, you can register or change your affiliation in person.
CAN I RUN FOR POTUS IN 2020?
Forget it! Even Bloomberg could not pull off a win on the Democratic ticket after spending eight hundred million dollars.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE ALASKA INDEPENDENCE PARTY (A), UNDECLARED (U), OR NON PARTISAN (N)?
The Alaska Independence Party (A) was formed to promote Alaska becoming independent from the United States. Non-Partisan (N) means you are abstaining from partying! (That’s a joke.). It means you don’t belong to any official party. Non-Partisan and Undeclared must be offered a choice of ballots in many statewide elections. Undeclared (U)
MY DOG ATE MY VOTER REGISTRATION CARD; CAN I STILL PARTICIPATE?
Yes, bring other acceptable ID and order a new one online. Oh yeah, and feed your dog more regularly.
WHY ARE DEMOCRATS SO COMPLICATED? Yes, Democrats did change their process this year. They are trying to be more inclusive by giving everyone a chance to vote by mail. Registered Democrats will get ballots by mail this week. The ballot may confuse people since some candidates have dropped out. (More next week.)
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN UNDECLARED (U) AND NON-PARTISAN (N)?
Answer: That one has me stumped. I’m workin’ on it.
Vicki Turner Malone often contributes to The Delta Discovery and is a self-certified Dummy. She lives in Bethel and is active in the Alaska Democratic Party. If you have questions about this article you can email her at [email protected].
THE THREE OFFICIALLY RECOGNIZED PARTIES IN ALASKA (CURRENTLY)
THE ALASKA REPUBLICAN PARTY (R)
THE ALASKA DEMOCRATIC PARTY (D)
THE ALASKA INDEPENDENCE PARTY (A)
TWO VOTER DESIGNATIONS FOR PEOPLE WHO DO NOT DECLARE A PARTY
Non- Partisan (N)
*There are Green, Libertarian, and many other political groups in Alaska which are not currently
official parties (I’ll explain next week-maybe -if someone asks).