North Dakota Elections

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Poll watching expected to spike over Trump claims of election rigging
10/23/16 |
Publication Date: 
Saturday, October 22, 2016 - 02:00

Spurred by Donald Trump's insistence the November election is rigged and will be plagued by widespread voter fraud, Republican officials in Texas' largest counties are reporting a spike in the number of volunteers signing up to monitor polling places.

The boost in GOP poll watchers has stoked concerns about voter intimidation among civil rights groups and Democrats, which are planning to counter with teams of lawyers, election hotlines and volunteers to keep an eye on Republican monitors. ...

Harris County has had its controversy over Republican-led poll-watching activity in the past. In 2010, the county attorney requested a monitor from the U.S. Department of Justice observe the voting process after complaints surfaced of poll watchers "hovering" over voters, "getting in their face," and talking to election workers. ...

According to a newly issued handbook from the Texas Secretary of State's office, poll watchers are instructed to look for illegal activity that includes "election workers who allow voters to cast a regular ballot without presenting an acceptable form of ID or presenting a supporting form of ID and signing a reasonable impediment affidavit."

Handful of changes to Wisconsin voting rules
10/22/16 |
Publication Date: 
Saturday, October 22, 2016 - 01:00

Under [a new state law] absentee ballots must be received by 8 p.m. on Election Day, Nov. 8, in order to count. Previously, mail-in absentee ballots had to be postmarked by Election Day and received by a clerk’s office by 4 p.m. on the next Friday.

The new law is one of a handful of changes to voting rules that could trip up some of the half-million to a million people in the state who only turn out to vote once every four years for presidential elections.

The most substantial change for them will be the new voter ID requirement, which critics fear will cause long lines on Election Day and result in some eligible voters being turned away at the polls. Supporters say the requirement will prevent voter fraud, though incidents of illegal voter impersonation are exceptionally rare. ...

Those without a photo ID can apply for a free voting ID at a Division of Motor Vehicles location. For those lacking certain documentation, such as a birth certificate, the DMV must issue a receipt within six days that can also be used for voting while a request for ID is being processed.

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North Dakota Election Info

Upcoming Elections in Your State

2016 General Election: Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Voter Registration Deadline:  North Dakota does not require eligible voters to register to vote.

For more information, visit the North Dakota Secretary of State’s website

Election Day:

Polls will be open from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., with the exception of precincts in which fewer than 75 votes were cast in the last general election, which must open no later than noon.  A voter in line by 7:00 p.m. has the right to vote.  Polling places may open before 9:00 a.m., but not earlier than 7:00 a.m., and may close after 7:00 p.m., but not later than 9:00 p.m.

Early voting is available in some counties.  Contact your county auditor for information about early voting (contact numbers listed at

How to Find Your Polling Place:  Visit the North Dakota Secretary of State’s polling place locator web page.


Already registered? Verify your voter registration status.

North Dakota does not require eligible voters to register to vote. 

In order to vote in North Dakota, you must:

  • Be a citizen of the United States;
  • Reside in North Dakota;
  • Be at least 18 years old;
  • Have resided in the precinct at least 30 days prior to the election.*            

*If you recently moved to the state and have been a resident of North Dakota for less than 30 days, you may vote for president but for no other offices in the election.

If You Want to Vote Early

In counties that allow early voting, you can vote during the fifteen days prior to Election Day. The county auditor establishes the days and times during which early voting is available. This information will be published in the official county newspaper once each week for three weeks before Election Day.  Contact your county auditor for more information ( 

If You Want to Vote Absentee

A voter may vote absentee for any reason. A voter may submit an application for an absentee ballot any time before Election Day. Returned absentee ballots, whether returned by mail, fax, or email, must be post-marked or date-stamped by Monday, November 7, 2016.

For more information on early voting and absentee voting, visit the Secretary of State’s website.

Identification Requirements to Cast a Ballot

Identification is required to vote.  Valid forms of identification are:

  • North Dakota driver’s license;
  • North Dakota non-driver’s identification card;
  • Long term care identification certificate; or
  • Tribal identification card.

VoteRiders has created North Dakota voter ID info cards in English and in Spanish.

Moving within the Same County

If you have stayed in same precinct:  If you have moved, but stayed within the same precinct, continue to vote at the same location.  Poll clerks will obtain your new address to be updated in the poll book.

If you have moved to another precinct:  You must vote at the prior precinct if you moved less than 30 days prior to Election Day.

Moving Between Counties

You must vote at the prior precinct if you moved less than 30 days prior to Election Day.

Military and other overseas citizens may use the standard procedure for voting absentee, but there are also special provisions for members of the U.S. Armed Forces and merchant marine, commissioned corps of the Public Health Service and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, along with family members of all these groups, and other citizens who reside outside the United States (together these groups are called UOCAVA voters).

Registering and Requesting an Absentee Ballot

North Dakota does not require registration.  Absentee ballots may be requested by visiting the Absentee Wizard.  Additional resources are available at the Federal Voting Assistance Program’s North Dakota specific page.

Receiving an Absentee Ballot

UOCAVA voters may receive and return an absentee ballot by mail, in person, by fax, or in a scanned attachment to an email.  Ballots must be postmarked, emailed, or faxed by the day before Election Day.

Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot

The Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot (FWAB) is a back-up ballot that can be used by UOCAVA voters.  You can use this FWAB whether you are located inside or outside the United States (including APO and FPO addresses), provided that you are away from your voting residence for service-related activities. If you do not receive your regular absentee ballot in time, you may use the FWAB.  Ballots must be postmarked, emailed, or faxed by the day before Election Day.  For specific instructions, visit the FVAP’s North Dakota specific page.

North Dakota permits convicted felons to vote so long as they are not currently serving a felony sentence of incarceration.  Convicted felons who are allowed to vote include those on probation, on parole, or who have completed a felony sentence of incarceration in the past.


Top Issues to Field

For more information for voters with disabilities, find a National Disability Rights Network partner in your area.

For more information for student voters, visit the Student Voting Guide from the Brennan Center for Justice.

Information provided by Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights

Voting as a Student

As a student, you have a constitutional right to register and vote in the place you truly consider to be “home” — whether that’s your parents’ house, your apartment, or your dorm room. But before you make the important decision about where to vote, make sure you know the voting rules (and sometimes consequences) of registering to vote in that state.

More Info On Student Voting

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2016 Election Information for your state