Monday, November 14, 2016

Alaskans OK automatic voter registration with signup for checks from oil-wealth fund

Alaskans receiving ballots at a polling station
(Getty Images by John Moore) 
Alaskan voters last week passed a referendum that will automatically add to the state's voter rolls all residents who sign up to receive annual payouts from The Alaska Permanent Fund, the state's oil-wealth trust fund, Josh Eidelson reports for Bloomberg News. The proposal, which received more than 63 percent support from voters, makes Alaska the sixth state with automatic voter registration.

"Supporters say the law—which will give Alaskans the chance to opt out of being added to the rolls, rather than restrict voting to those who opt in by getting themselves registered—could create one of the most complete and accurate U.S. state voter registries of all time," Eidelson writes. "Not everyone gets a driver’s license, but in Alaska, almost nobody neglects to sign up each year to get their free dividend check."

Last year about 645,000 residents received more than $2,000 each from the fund, Rory Carroll reported for Reuters. "The annual payout from the fund is credited with keeping many low-income Alaskan families out of poverty."

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