Election Day is on Nov. 3, deciding if Donald Trump will remain the President of the United States or if a newly elected leader will usher in a new era of American government. Students and all Alaskans still have the opportunity to vote until Election Day.
As COVID-19 continues to ravage the U.S., with Alaska being one of the hotspots of rising cases, the current administration at the White House and Donald Trump are criticized for their handling of the pandemic. Medical experts such as Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, have growing concerns about the future health of the U.S. Fauci discusses the current state and future of the pandemic in length in an interview by the Yale Institute of Global Health.
Other issues such as migrant children separated from their families, healthcare programs such as Obamacare at risk for dissolvement, resulting in the loss of insurance for over 21 million Americans, Trump’s long history of racially insensitive comments and apathy towards social injustice are also issues facing the country under his presidency. Casting a vote will ensure that voices are heard in support or against the current White House leadership.
Nov. 3 is the last day to cast a ballot and there are still some convenient ways to do so. If you’re not sure that you’re registered to vote, you can check your status on Alaska.gov. Applying for the Permanent Fund Dividend or PFD, also means that one has already been registered to vote, as PFD applications register the applicant automatically in Alaska under Ballot Measure 1.
For those that have received their absentee ballots, but not mailed them in, they can still be mailed as long as the ballot is postmarked by Nov. 3. Ballots can be dropped off at any voting location or at five secure drop boxes in Anchorage, located at:
632 West 6th Ave.
O’Malley’s on the Green
3651 O’Malley Road
Begich Middle School
7440 Creekside Center Drive
Clark Middle School
150 Bragaw St. – Access from Mt. View Drive
There are also drop box locations in other parts of Alaska, such as Eagle River, Palmer and Wasilla.
The requirement for a witness to be present at the time of signing an absentee ballot has also been waived for the November 2020 election. Once ballots are mailed in or dropped off, their status can be checked at the State of Alaska Division of Elections Voter Information website. Applicants can also contact the Division of Elections by phone at (907) 465-4611 or toll-free at +1(866) 952-8683. They can also be emailed at [email protected] or [email protected]
Casting a ballot is also incredibly easy if you are part of the UAA community. Students and staff can vote in person at UAA at the Student Union Upstairs Lounge in room SU215. A Wolfcard is required to access the building. Polling hours at UAA are Nov. 2, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. and Nov. 3, 7 a.m.-8 p.m. Absentee ballots can also be turned in here.
Voting can be confusing, but UAA has created an easy-to-follow and comprehensive UAAVotes ballot guide to help students learn about the voting process and find information about candidates and policies.
UAAVotes is a nonpartisan organization that was made to help students engage in the democratic political process, UAAVotes provides a balanced overview of general election information. Their website was created by UAA in partnership with the Alaska Center Education Fund, Native People’s Action and Campus Election Engagement Project.
There are also many in-person polling places throughout Anchorage. To find your nearest polling place, click on Voter Information on the State of Alaska Division of Elections website. The voting process in person is easy to navigate and there are plenty of poll workers ready to assist voters in a safe environment.
UAA also features Jam the Polls, an engagement and performance series on UAA Life’s Instagram page, that features artist performances to promote political engagement. Artists such as Portugal the Man, Pamyua and Medium Build have performed. Jam the Polls is brought to the students by the UAA Concert Board and the Alaska Center Education Fund.
For more information about voting, where to vote and how, visit the UAA Votes website.