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Vote Your Values

Do you have a backcountry trip out to some remote cabin accessible only by a 40-mile hike planned for early November? Maybe you’ll be splitting firewood day in and day out for the next few weeks, without much thought for anything else.

a person sitting on a rock wall

Scratch something easy off your to-do list ahead of time by getting your ballot in today so that your voice is heard.

I know, from experience, that things in Alaska can be difficult (whenever you want to ski a few laps, you have to skin up the side of a mountain!). But, did you know that Alaska is a no excuse absentee voting state? Anyone can vote early, whether in-person, through the mail, online or even through a fax machine (for me, another difficult task would be finding a fax machine).

Early voting started in Alaska on Oct. 19, which means you can walk into your local election office and cast your ballot. You’ll even get a cool sticker for your water bottle.

But, in the 2018 election, only 46 percent of registered Alaska voters got that sticker.

I get it, midterm elections can be boring, but in 2016 only 58 percent of registered voters submitted their ballots.

Imagine a world where half of the population gets to decide your future.

a person sitting on a bench in front of a fence

Say you’re planning a backcountry trip with friends and two of the four travelers get to make all the decisions. At first, it seems like it will be fine and fun. You trust that your friends have the trip’s best interest at heart.

But then you realize that one of your companions refuses to read weather reports and the other gets all their trail information from secondhand sources. After four days of hiking, you find yourself weathered in, 10 miles off trail, struggling to get back to where you started.

Why didn’t you speak up before the trip? You love reading the weather and have plenty of accurate trail maps on your bookshelf. You didn’t make sure your voice was heard and now you’re bushwhacking in the rain wondering how in the world you’re going to get back to where you started.

I know, I know, this hypothetical situation may seem like a stretch, but there are so many different ways that we express our opinion on a daily basis. Yet, when it comes to the leadership of our country, so many choose to stay quiet.

We live in a beautiful state, in a beautiful country, but only 50 percent of our population is deciding its future with one simple task. Vote.

a woman standing in front of a building

-Kat Sorensen

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