Support for ranked choice voting

There is a group of extreme conservatives that are sponsoring a petition to get rid of the State of Alaska ranked choice voting system and non-partisan primary. The State of Alaska regulations say that petition signatures equal to 10% of the votes are required to put a proposal before voters.

In 2022, a total of 267,047 ballots were cast in Alaska, meaning 26,705 signatures will be required for ballot initiatives in 2024. There is a segment on the geographic distribution requirement signatures equal to 7 percent of the total district vote in the last general election that must be collected in each of three-fourths of the 40 Alaska House Districts.

In 2022 the Bethel House District 38 only 3,763 voted out of 10,996 registered voters. By state regulations group that wants to repeal the ranked choice voting will need 264 voters to sign.

The group is called “Alaskans for Honest Elections” lead by far right conservative Art Mathias must turn in signatures by February 16, 2024. Group will be coming into rural districts requesting signatures from rural voters.

In the event the group is successful gathering required signatures from rural voters the ballot initiative will be voted by voters all across the state.

Important our rural voters do not sign the ballot initiatives, conservatives want to change how elections are done. Mainly many republicans want a closed election system in the primary elections. The present ranked choice voting system is an open honest system where you can vote for any candidate. Conservatives want a closed primary election.

Many primary election losers want to repeal the ranked choice voting. Ranked choice voting helps rural Alaskans. Ranked choice voting ensures majority rule, gives more choices for all voters to rank who their preferred candidates are instead of a closed primary of what Alaskans for Honest Elections would prefer. Ranked choice voting saves lower cost for elections and improved turnout. Ranked choice voting provides more civility in campaigns. Ranked choice voting helped elect Congresswoman Mary Peltola, and U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski.

Please do not sign the ballot initiative to repeal the State of Alaska ranked choice voting system when it comes into the villages and in Bethel.

Matthew Nicolai

Anchorage, AK

National Moving Month, here’s what to know

For countless Americans, the month of May signifies a major transition in their lives. Whether it’s graduating from high school or college, starting a new job, or receiving that highly anticipated acceptance letter, May marks the beginning of the busiest time in the nation for moving. So much so, that the month was designated National Moving Month in 1997.

In 2022, 40% of all business inquiries on for moving companies occurred from May-August, and over 5,300 complaints were filed with BBB against moving companies throughout the year. Additionally, consumers reported to the BBB Scam Tracker more than $1.2 million lost to moving scams in 2022. This year, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is launching Operation Protect Your Move, deploying dozens of investigators around the country to crack down on the uptick in moving scams and complaints, including investigating moving brokers.

With the amount of moving activity during summer, the potential of being a victim of a moving scam also increases. There are several versions of moving scams reported to BBB every year, including: 

Moving companies not showing up. Consumers receiving a quote and paying a deposit, but the movers never show up.

Changing quotes after loading the truck. The moving company provides a quote based on expected weight and, after loading the truck, they inform the consumer that the load is over the expected weight and an additional fee will have to be paid. Most of the time, the additional fee is significantly more expensive per pound, sometimes as much as double the original estimate.

Holding your belongings hostage. The most disruptive and difficult to anticipate moving scam is when everything appears to be going well. The movers provide an estimate, arrive on time and load your belongings onto a truck. However, this is where the interaction turns disastrous. When the truck fails to arrive at its destination, either your belongings are simply gone or the company requires the consumer to pay an additional fee to have them delivered, holding the possessions hostage. 

To avoid becoming a victim of a moving scam this National Moving Month and in the future, BBB recommends following these guidelines:

Watch out for warning signs. When reviewing a company’s website, if there is no address or information about a mover’s registration or insurance, it’s a sign that it may not possess the proper policies to protect a consumer’s belongings. Additionally, if the mover uses a rented truck or offers an estimate over the phone prior to conducting an on-site inspection, it may not be a legitimate business.

Be wary of unusual requests. If a mover asks for a large down payment or full payment in advance, that may be an indication of a fraudulent business. If an individual’s possessions are being held hostage for additional payment that was not agreed upon when the contract was signed, contact BBB or local law enforcement for help.

Get everything in writing. When moving between states, check licensing with the U.S. Department of Transportation. An identification number issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is required of all interstate moving companies, which can be verified at Also, check with your state to verify any registration or licensing requirements prior to signing a contract. Make sure to carefully read the terms and conditions of the contract, as well as the limits of liability and any disclaimers. The pickup and expected delivery date should be easily identified.

Keep an inventory of your belongings. Having an inventory sheet is one of the best ways to keep track of your possessions. BBB recommends labeling every box with details on which belongings are packed in each. In general, movers are not liable for lost or damaged contents in customer-packed boxes unless there is provable negligence on the part of the mover. Taking photos of the contents prior to packing is a great way to prove if damages were incurred during the moving process.

Ask questions. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about anything you don’t understand. If the moving company either can’t or won’t answer your questions, look for another company. Trust matters when hiring a moving company.

Visit to find a company you can trust.

Roseann Freitas

Better Business Bureau Great West & Pacific

Example: 9075434113