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Alaska Voter Registration Veto Referendum (1968)

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The Alaska Voter Registration Veto Referendum was on the November 5, 1968 ballot in Alaska as a veto referendum, where it was approved and, therefore, upheld.

The measure was part of an effort to overturn a law passed by the Alaska State Legislature, Ch. 211, SLA 1968. It got 51.29 percent of the vote, which meant that Alaskan voters agreed with the bill passed by their state legislature.

The upheld law established a system of pre-registration for voters in Alaska.

Election results

Alaska Referendum (1968)
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 37,152 51.29%
No35,27848.71%

Election results via: Alaska Secretary of State

Text of measure

The language appeared on the ballot as:[1]

REFERENDUM
As Proposed By
Ch. 211, SLA 1968
VOTER REGISTRATION AND PROCEDURES
Shall the provisions of Chapter 211 of the Session Laws of Alaska 1968, which establishes a system of pre-registration for voters in Alaska be approved?
Yes ☐
No ☐[2]

Background

Referendums

The 1968 referendum was the first time Alaskans used their right of veto referendum. They subsequently used it again in 1976, with the Compensation and Retirement Referendum, in 2000, with the Land-And-Shoot Referendum, and in 2014, with the Oil Tax Cuts Veto Referendum.

Bill

According to the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner:[3]

  • The act was originally passed in the spring of 1968.
  • "Instant registration" was available since territorial days in Alaska.
  • Prior to the act, Alaskans would go to the polls and sign their name in a registration book to register; this was repeated every election.
  • The act would not take full effect until the primary election of 1970.
  • Under the act, people need to pre-register to vote; that could be done in person at least 14 days in advance or by mail at least 30 days in advance.
  • North Dakota was the only other state without a pre-registration system of some kind.

Support

Supporters argued the act:[3]

  • "will act as safeguard against fraudulent voting"
  • "will make the election process more efficient and orderly"
  • "will increase interest in the electoral process and thus increase voter turnout"
  • "will increase confidence in the honesty and integrity of elections"
  • "will help strengthen the two party system"
  • "will make our voting process uniform throughout the state"
  • "will be a less expensive system to initiate now than in the future"

Opposition

Opponents argued the act:[3]

  • "will not ensure fraud-proof elections"
  • "will create an obstacle to the act of voting"
  • "will be difficult to administer"
  • "will tend to disenfranchise residents in Alaska who live in the vast remote or rural areas of the state"
  • "will increase weight of the urban vote"
  • "will not necessarily increase voter turnout"
  • "will be too expensive"

See also

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Suggest a link

External links

References

  1. Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, "Sample General Election Ballot," November 1, 1968
  2. Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, "A Close Look at the Central Arguments," November 1, 1968