The Honorable Byron Mallott
Alaska Attorney General Opinions
July 29, 2015
The Honorable Byron Mallott
P.O. Box 110015
Juneau, Alaska 99811-0015
Re: 15PFVR Ballot Measure Application Review AGO No. JU2015200441
Dear Lieutenant Governor Mallott:
You asked us to review an application for an initiative entitled: "An Act relating to the permanent fund dividend application and the registration of voters; and providing for an effective date" (hereafter, "15PFVR"). Because the application complie s with the specific constitutional and statutory provisions governing the initiative process, we recommend that you certify the application.
I. The proposed initiative bill.
The bill proposed by this initiative would amend, repeal, and reenact various provisions of Alaska law to allow voters to register to vote when they apply for a permanent fund dividend ("PFD"). The bill is eleven sections long, and provides as follows:
would add a statement of findings and intent to the uncodified law, finding that the cornerstone of American democracy is the right to vote; the State should avoid needless bureaucratic hurdles to voting; the State currently requires individuals who wish to receive a PFD to file an application; PFD applicants who register to vote must fill out a separate application; the State can combine the PFD application with voter registration; and the State can use PFD-application data to ensure that voter registration data is current.
would amend AS 15.07.050(a) by adding a new option for voter registration: completing a PFD application under AS 43.23.015.
would amend AS 15.07.060(e) by adding a PFD application as one of the modes of initial voter registration that requires certain verification by the Division of Elections.
would amend AS 15.07.070(f) to clarify that a PFD application made under AS 43.23.015 that contains certain information that is also required for voter registration shall be considered a complete voter registration application and accepted under AS 15.07.070(i). PFD applications would be accepted as voter registration applications even without some information otherwise required under AS 15.07.060(5), (6), (10)-(12), including:
• a statement of previous voter registrations in other jurisdictions and the address of the previous registration;
• a declaration that the applicant will be 18 or older within 90 days after registration;
• any former names the applicant previously used to registered to vote; and
• a certification that the applicant understands a false statement may be a misdemeanor.
would amend AS 15.07.070 by adding a new subsection providing that the Division of Elections must register voters who submit a PFD application if the applicant includes voter registration information on that application Specifically, the Division of Elections would cooperate with the Department of Revenue to harmonize the agencies' forms and ensure that the PFD application gives the applicant an opportunity to register to vote. After the Department of Revenue sends the application to the Division of Elections, the Division...