by Azachorok Incorporated
Azachorok Incorporated approved a resolution on Friday, January 29, 2021 calling on the Alaska Legislature to pass a law to allow Ballot Curing for Alaska voters. Ballot Curing is the process for which absentee and mail voters can correct errors, typos or mismatched signatures that otherwise would cause their ballot to be rejected.
This bold action by Azachorok Incorporated was inspired because Alaska is one of the few states that does not allow voters to ‘cure’ their ballots of these small mistakes and discrepancies. Some elections are very close and this is initiative will support a more democratic outcome and reduce voter suppression.
Loren Peterson, Chairman and CEO of Azachorok Incorporated explains: “The State of Alaska has rejected ballots because of small errors or discrepancies such as a signature that may not match what the Division has on file and signatures may change over time. Without a ballot curing mechanism in place, small discrepancies may invalidate votes with no way for a voter to fix the issue and have their vote be counted,” Peterson states. “This is wrong and further disenfranchises Alaska Native voters disproportionately who vote absentee at a much higher rate. It also allows for politics to play a role in whether or not some votes should be discounted. That is why we are calling on the Alaska Legislature to step up and follow the lead of other states to allow Ballot Curing.”
In the Alaska 2020 General Election, more than 44% of all Alaskans voted by mail. That is more than 120,000 votes. The record rate of mail votes will likely continue, and it is especially important to establish this process now before future elections.
Azachorok Incorporated also has shareholders residing in the Anchorage area, some in East Anchorage in District 27 where a challenger to an incumbent won an election by a very close margin of 13 votes electing Liz Synder to the House of Representatives.
Vice Chair Peter Andrews says, “Now is the time for the State of Alaska to take action on Ballot Curing to make sure all of our votes count. We call on other organizations to join our fight and reach out to the Legislature as well.”
The Resolution 2021-1, Ballot Curing, was approved by the Azachorok Board of Directors with unanimous consent.
Chairman Peterson further states, “Our shareholders have a right to make sure their votes count. This is an essential function of our Democracy and the Alaska Legislature should take up this issue immediately.”
Azachorok Incorporated is an Alaska Native corporation established in 1973 pursuant to the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act. Azachorok Incorporated is headquartered in Anchorage and represents approximately 522 shareholders who reside in Mountain Village, Anchorage and across Alaska.