COVID-19 Information for Voters and Election Officials

If you will be voting in-person at your polling place, please review the CDC's Reccomendations on Protecting yourself and Your Family

What COVID-19 precautions are being taken for in-person voting?

CDC recommendations and Alaska Department of Health & Social Services (DHSS) mandates will be fully implemented at all Polling Places and Absentee Voting locations. These consist of, but are not limited to:

  • Encouraging voters to wear some type of facial covering and ask that non-essential people (such as children) not go into the polling place/absentee voting locations. DOE will provide Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as facial coverings and gloves for voters to use.

  • Encouraging voters who have health concerns to vote Absentee By-Mail

  • Asking Election Officials to not report to work if they feel ill or have undergone COVID testing and have not received results.

  • Election Officials will be required to wear provided PPE such as facial coverings and gloves.

  • Election Officials will be required to disinfect all areas throughout the day that are frequently touched such as voting equipment, booths, tables, pens, secrecy sleeves, door handles, light switches, etc.

  • Hand sanitizer will be available for voters to use before checking in, when using voting equipment, and when they exit the polling place.

  • DOE will provide 6-foot markings in the polling place to promote the CDC recommended social distancing and Election Officials will encourage voters to practice social distancing while standing in line; being checked in; and waiting to place their ballot in the ballot box.

  • Election Officials will make every effort to space voting booths six feet apart.

  • Election Officials will monitor the number of people in a location at a time, depending on CDC and HSS guidelines.




Frequently Asked Questions:

  • Will everyone be automatically sent an absentee voting application in the mail?
  • No. Only voters who are over the age of 65 will be automatically mailed an application to apply for a by-mail ballot.

  • Do I have to wear a mask/facial covering when voting in person?
  • DOE strongly encourages voters to wear facial coverings while inside a polling place and in cities where wearing a facial covering is mandated.

  • Have any election protocols been changed due to COVID-19?
  • No. The Division of Elections (DOE) has not made any changes or adjustments to any of the available voting options, other than COVID related precautions at the Polling Places. By-Mail Voting, Early Voting, Absentee in-Person Voting, Special Needs Voting and Electronic Transmission Voting will proceed with the timeframes as established in state law. Like all years before, voters do not need a reason to request an absentee by-mail ballot. ballot. Protocols for voting have not changed.

  • Is COVID-19 making it difficult to recruit Poll Workers?
  • Yes. Some Poll Workers have opted not to work this election cycle. DOE launched the “Adopt-A-Precinct program" to aid with recruitment issues.

  • Where can I get the latest updates on elections related COVID-19 responses?
  • Voters should only rely on information that comes from the Alaska Division of Elections and the Office of the Lieutenant Governor. All updates will be posted on the DOE website, DOE official social media pages, and local media (newspapers, news, radio).

  • What will happen if the number of COVID-19 cases rises in Alaska?
  • DOE is actively monitoring the COVID-19 situation in Alaska and will respond accordingly should the CDC, DHSS, and the Office of the Lieutenant Governor decide if any changes to elections procedures are necessary.

  • What COVID-19 related rules do I have to follow inside one of the Regional or Director’s offices?
  • DOE strongly encourages office visitors to wear some type of facial covering. DOE asks that visitors follow CDC recommended 6 feet of social distancing.

  • If I apply for an absentee by-mail ballot, do I have to continue voting by-mail forever? I only want to vote by-mail in 2020 and would prefer to vote in person in the future.
  • No. An absentee by-mail application is only valid for the calendar year. When applying for an absentee ballot, voters can choose certain elections or all elections in a calendar year that they wish to vote by-mail.


What to expect at polling places this year

  • Due to social distancing, it is possible that your polling place will not have as many voting booths as they have in the past. This may cause longer wait times.

  • Due to the risks associated with large groups gathering (especially in a small indoor place), we will be monitoring, to the best of our ability, the number of people inside a polling place at a time. This may cause you to wait in line outside of the polling place.

  • Due to COVID-19, we may have a significantly lower amount of poll place workers than in previous years, meaning some poll places may have a smaller staff than usual. This may also cause longer wait times.

  • There will be PPE available for voters, such as facial coverings, gloves, and hand sanitizer.


Lieutenant Governor’s over 65 voting initiative

Lieutenant Governor Kevin Meyer, made a decision to mail all voters over age 65 an APPLICATION for by-mail voting. This was done because this group was identified by the CDC as one of the most vulnerable populations, the initiative is meant to help and encourage those over 65 years old to vote by-mail instead of going to a polling place.

Things to know if you are over 65 years of age:

  • Only absentee ballot applications will be automatically sent to you; actual ballots will not be automatically sent. Once the absentee ballot application is received and processed by the division, a ballot will be scheduled for mailing.

  • You DO NOT have to vote by-mail if you don’t want to. All voters may choose to vote using any of these available options; in-person at the poling place on Election Day, or at an absentee voting location, by-mail or electronic transmission. Special needs voting is also available for voters, who due to age, illness or a disability are unable to vote in person. Information about voting options is available here.

  • Election Official Training Videos

    Check out how DOE is training all Election Officials to operate polling places in a safe and secure way.

    This page will be updated as further guidance and information becomes available.