Voting in North Dakota
Voting in 2014 Primaries
Ballot access for major and minor party candidates
Absentee voting • Early voting
Open Primary • Closed Primary • Blanket Primary
Online voter registration in the 50 states
North Dakota is the only state without voter registration. It was abolished in 1951. Instead, the following system is used.
"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.
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.
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.
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."
Voting on election day
Electors must present identification before voting. Acceptable forms of identification must include the voter's address. If a valid form of identification cannot be produced, voters can still vote if either an election poll worker can vouch for their identity and residence; or if they complete a voter's affidavit.
- 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.
North Dakota is divided between Central and Mountain time zones.
The 2013 North Dakota State Legislature passed a new voter identification bill. The bill eliminates the option of the voter affidavit process and requires presentation of voter identification at the polls. The law will become effective on August 1, 2013.
|Bill||Introduced||House Vote||Senate Vote||House Vote||Gubernatorial Action|
|HB 1332||Jan. 17, 2013 in North Dakota House of Representatives||on Feb. 26, 2013, 72 to 21||on April 3, 2013, 30 to 16||w/amendments April 12, 2013 68 to 24||on April 19, 2013|
- See also: Absentee voting
All voters are eligible to vote absentee in North Dakota. There are no special eligibility requirements for voting absentee.
There is no specific deadline for applying for an absentee ballot. The voted ballot must be postmarked at least one day before the election.
Military and overseas voting
For full details, visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program here.
- See also: Early voting
North Dakota is one of 34 states that has early voting with no specific requirements as to who can vote early. Early voting begins 15 days before an election and ends on the day prior to election day. The average number of days prior to an election that voters can cast an early ballot is 21 days in states with a definitive starting date.
- North Dakota Secretary of State, "North Dakota ... The Only State Without Voter Registration," accessed June 10, 2014
- North Dakota Secretary of State, "ID Required for Voting in North Dakota," accessed June 10, 2014
- North Dakota Secretary of State, "Election Calendar 2014," accessed January 3, 2014
- National Conference of State Legislatures Website, "State Primary Election Types," accessed January 6, 2014
- Fair Vote, "Congressional and Presidential Primaries: Open, Closed, Semi-Closed, and 'Top Two,'" accessed January 6, 2014
- Ballotpedia research conducted December 26, 2013 through January 3, 2014 researching and analyzing various state websites and codes.
- The Bismarck Tribune, "Senate passes voter identification measure," April 3, 2013
- The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead, "Voter ID bill passes Senate with changes," April 4, 2013
- North Dakota Secretary of State, "North Dakota Residents Choosing to Vote Absentee or by Mail," accessed December 16, 2013
- North Dakota Century Code "16.1-07-15," accessed December 16, 2013