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Final Week to Register to Vote in Primary on Oil Taxes, Political Races

Sunday is the deadline for Alaska voters to register, update their voter information, or change party affiliation ahead of an August primary that will tackle a contentious oil tax overhaul and decide major political races on both sides of the aisle.

On the primary ballot for the Republican ticket is a three-way race for who will run for the U.S. Senate. Candidates include attorney Joe Miller, current Lieutenant Governor Mead Treadwell, and former Department of Natural Resources head Dan Sullivan. The winner of that primary will take on incumbent Senator Mark Begich in the November election.

Democratic voters will choose a candidate for Lieutenant Governor, between Anchorage-based state senator Hollis French and Mat-Su teacher Bob Williams. The winner will run alongside the Democrat’s gubernatorial candidate Byron Mallott.

Regardless of party affiliation, all voters in the August primary will also decide the fate of the state’s oil tax system by voting on Ballot Measure 1. A vote “yes” on the measure will repeal the new oil tax system passed by Governor Sean Parnell and the state legislature last year; a vote “no” on the ballot measure will keep the new oil tax system in place.

Regional offices of the Division of Elections, in cities like Anchorage, Fairbanks, Nome, and Juneau, will be open for voter registration for extended hours.

As the state building in Nome continues to undergo renovations, the Elections Office in Nome has been re-located to the second floor of the Sitnasuak building. Their normal weekday hours are from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., with extended hours planned for this weekend. On Saturday July 19, the Nome office will be open from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m., and on Sunday July 20 from noon until 4 p.m.

Division Director Gail Fenumiai said in a news release that any changes made after Sunday will not be effective for the August 19 primary.

The division accepts voter registration applications in person, as well as those submitted by mail, fax, or email. Forms and instructions are online at the Department of Elections website.

The Associated Press contributed information to this story.