by Vicki Turner Malone

Wow, did Democrats ever pick a great year for their first mail-in ballot! Every registered Democrat in District 38 will have the opportunity to cast a ballot in their presidential primary. Each voter should have received a ballot in the mail by March 18th, at the latest.

The new mail-in ballot replaces the face-to-face caucus. It should work better for the villages because the District 38 Democratic caucus was always held in Bethel and the villages were under-represented.

Things to know for Democrats:

•Each Democrat should have received a white envelope with yellow border on the left. It says, “Official Ballot.” It is the only ballot Dems will receive. (See picture.)

•It must be postmarked by March 24, 2020.

•Postage is PRE-PAID.

•The voter’s PHYSICAL address must be on the return envelope. (Use mailing if you live in village that has not issued street addresses.)

•Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Tulsi Gabbard, and Elizabeth Warren (Warren has suspended her campaign but has not withdrawn her name from the ballot) are the only candidates still running. Everyone else on the Democratic ballot has dropped out.

•Democratic voters only need to vote for ONE candidate, but may also vote for up to five including “undeclared” and rank those choices.

Voters in Bethel on April 4, 2020, may have the opportunity to vote in person, but in these trying times Democrats are urging voters to return their ballot by mail.

I had questions from Non-Partisan (N) and Undeclared (U).

Here are the answers:

•According to the Alaska Division of Elections, the difference between nonpartisan and undeclared is: “nonpartisan” means that a person is not associated with or does not support the policies or interests of a political party; “undeclared” means that a voter does not wish to declare an affiliation.

•Non-partisan and undeclared voters MUST be offered a choice of ballots in STATEWIDE Alaska elections. The current election is an official party election determining how the party’s delegates will vote at the national convention.

As reported last week, the Alaska Republican Party is NOT holding a presidential primary, because they have picked President Trump as their nominee. This has been done in the past for second term incumbent presidents from both major parties in some states. So for now, the only action is the long awaited Alaska Democratic presidential primary with its first mail-in ballot.

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].

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