Initiative tries to link voting to Permanent Fund Dividends

ANCHORAGE — An initiative group is gathering signatures in an attempt to link voter registration to Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend applications.

PFD Voter Registration is trying to get a question on the ballot asking voters if they’d like registration to come automatically when they apply for their dividend from the Permanent Fund, KTUU-TV reported. The initiative would also update home address information for those already registered to vote.

“We have a state-of-the-art system in our PFD system, so why not take advantage of that opportunity and offer up some streamline efficiencies and make it easier for Alaskans to register to vote,” says Kim Reitmeier, Executive Director of the ANCSA Regional Association and co-chair of the campaign.

The group needs to get 28,500 signatures before the 2016 legislative session starts in January. If it succeeds, the question could show up on the 2016 primary election ballot or the November 2016 general election ballot, depending on when the Legislature adjourns.

“New voters don’t know where to go, they don’t know how to register but most people know how to register for their PFD,” Reitmeier said.