Alaska Voter Registration Veto Referendum (1968)
- The measure was part of an effort to overturn a law passed shortly before by the Alaska State Legislature, Ch. 211, SLA 1968. It got 51.3% of the vote, which meant that Alaskan voters agreed with the bill earlier passed by their state legislature.
- The upheld law established a system of pre-registration for voters in Alaska.
|Alaska Referendum (1968)|
Text of measure
The ballot language said:
As Proposed By
Ch. 211, SLA 1968
VOTER REGISTRATION AND PROCEDURES
Supporters argued the act:
- "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"
Opponents argued the act:
- "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: List of Alaska ballot measures
- 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, and in 2000, with the Land-And-Shoot Referendum.
Path to the ballot
According to the Fairbanks Daily News Miner:
- 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.
- Fairbanks Daily News Miner, "Sample General Election Ballot: November 5, 1968," November 2, 1968 (p.14)
- Fairbanks Daily News Miner, "A Close Look at the Central Arguments," November 1, 1968 (p.23)