Voting in North Dakota

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North Dakota permits no-excuse early voting and no-excuse absentee voting. The state does not permit online voter registration. Instead, new voters must prove that they are qualified electors. North Dakota is the only state in which there is no formal registration system. North Dakota voters are required to provide some form of identification at the polls.

For full information about voting in North Dakota, contact your state election agency.


North Dakota is the only state without a formal voter registration procedure. Instead, the following system is used.[1]

Precincts in North Dakota maintain a list of voters who have voted in previous elections. When a voter approaches a polling location they are asked to provide an acceptable form of identification. Then the election board will attempt to locate the voter’s name on the voting list. If the voter’s name is on the list, the voter’s name and address are verified and the voter is then allowed to vote.[1]

If the voter is not on the list, but an election worker knows the voter to be a qualified elector of the precinct the poll worker may vouch for the voter. The voter then has the right to vote.[1]

If the voter is not on the list and no poll worker is able to vouch for them, the voter may be challenged. As part of the challenge, the voter is asked to sign an affidavit swearing to the fact that he or she is a qualified elector of the precinct and therefore qualified to vote in the precinct. If the voter agrees to sign the affidavit, the voter must be allowed to vote. If the voter refuses to sign the affidavit, the voter is choosing not to vote.[1]

Falsely swearing to be a qualified elector is a class A misdemeanor and carries a maximum penalty of one-year imprisonment, a fine of $2,000, or both.[1][2]

—North Dakota Secretary of State

Voting on Election Day

Electors must present identification before voting. Acceptable forms of identification must include the voter's address.[3][4][5]

Poll times

See also: State Poll Opening and Closing Times

Polling locations cannot open earlier than 7:00 a.m. and must be open by 9:00 a.m. with the exception of those precincts in which fewer than 75 votes were cast in the last general election. The governing body of the exempt polling locations may direct the polls to open no later than 12:00 noon. All polling locations must remain open until 7:00 p.m. and close by 9:00 p.m. at the latest.[6]

North Dakota is divided between Central and Mountain time zones.

Primary voting

North Dakota is one of 14 states that uses an open primary system, in which voters do not have to be members of a party to vote in that party's primary.[7][8][9]

Absentee voting

See also: Absentee voting


All voters are eligible to vote absentee in North Dakota. There are no special eligibility requirements for voting absentee.[10]


There is no specific deadline for applying for an absentee ballot. The completed ballot must be postmarked at least one day before the election.[10]

Military and overseas voting

For full details regarding military and overseas voting, visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program.

Early voting

See also: Early voting

North Dakota is one of 33 states (plus the District of Columbia) that permit some form of early voting. Early voting begins 15 days before an election and ends on the day prior to Election Day.[11]

Recent news

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North Dakota Voting News Feed

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See also

Elections in North Dakota

External links