Local News

Primary to decide candidates, oil taxes

Poll worker Kathleen Brandt greets voters at primary day in Sitka's Harrigan Centennial Hall. (KCAW photo/Rachel Waldholz)

Poll worker Kathleen Brandt greets voters at primary day in Sitka’s Harrigan Centennial Hall. (KCAW photo/Rachel Waldholz)

Poll worker Kim Hunter helps voters submit their ballot for counting -- and gives out stickers -- on primary day. (KCAW photo/Rachel Waldholz)

Poll worker Kim Hunter helps voters submit their ballot for counting — and gives out stickers — on primary day. (KCAW photo/Rachel Waldholz)

Tuesday, August 19th, is primary day in Alaska. Sitka voters will be choosing candidates for Governor, Lt. Governor, U.S. House and Senate, and State Representative.

The winners of Tuesday’s primary races will appear on the general election ballot in November.

But some decisions Tuesday will be final. Voters will decide whether to repeal SB21. That’s the controversial package of tax breaks for oil and gas production passed by the legislature last year. Opponents collected enough signatures to put the legislation to a citizen referendum: Ballot Measure 1 asks whether to repeal  those tax breaks, and return to the previous oil tax structure, known as ACES.

Voting on the ballot measure will be somewhat counter-intuitive: A “yes” vote repeals the tax cuts. A “no” vote approves them.

Three other initiatives — on Pebble Mine, marijuana legalization, and raising the minimum wage — were originally scheduled for this summer, but have been pushed back to the general election in November.

Voters can choose one of three ballots: only those registered as Republican, Nonpartisan, or Undeclared can vote in the Republican primary, while any registered voter can vote in the Democratic, Libertarian and Independence Party primaries. Voters can also choose to vote only on the ballot measure.

You can find sample primary ballots here:

Alaska Republican Party Candidates and Measures Ballot

Alaska Democratic Party, Alaska Libertarian Party, Alaskan Independence Party Candidates and Measures Ballot

Measures Only Ballot

The polling place for both Sitka precincts is Harrigan Centennial Hall. Voting will be open from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m.

Non-Sitka residents who are registered in any other district in Alaska can cast their ballots at the Sitka Airport. Polls there will also be open from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m.

Voters should bring some form of ID with them to the polls. Acceptable identification includes a signed voter ID card, driver’s license, military ID, passport, or hunting or fishing license.

Sitkans will go to the polls three times this fall. Tomorrow’s statewide primary election will be followed by municipal elections, for Sitka Mayor, Assembly and School Board, on October 7th.

The statewide and national general election will take place Tuesday, November 4.

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