Skip to main content

Voting & Elections Toolkits

Voter Registration in North Dakota

Deadline

North Dakota does not require voter registration.

Therefore, an eligible voter may vote in an election if the voter provides acceptable identification.  

 

North Dakota does not require voter registration.

Therefore, an eligible voter may vote in an election if the voter provides acceptable identification.  

North Dakota does not require voter registration.

Therefore, an eligible voter may vote in an election if the voter provides acceptable identification.  

 

Eligibility

To vote in North Dakota, a person must be:

1. A United States citizen;
2. At least 18 years old on the day of the election;
3. A North Dakota resident; and
4. A resident in the precinct for at least 30 days preceding the election.

 

For more information see Frequently Asked Questions

Residency

For the purposes of voting, a person may have only one residence, shown by an actual fixed permanent dwelling, or any other abode. Residency in North Dakota is defined in North Dakota Century Code, Section 54-01-26 which states:

Every person has in law a residence. In determining the place of residence, the following rules must be observed: It is the place where one remains when not called elsewhere for labor or other special or temporary purpose, and to which he or she returns in seasons of repose. There can be only one residence. A residence cannot be lost until another is gained The residence can be changed only by the union of act and intent.

ID Requirements for North Dakota Voters

ID Requirements for Registration

 

*Lawsuits have resulted in a recent changes to ID requirements for Native Americans

ID Requirements for Voting

(NDCC § 16.1-01-04.1)

Identification must include the voter’s:

  • Name
  • Current North Dakota Residential Address
  • Date of Birth

Acceptable Forms of Identification:

  • Driver’s license
  • Nondriver’s identification card
  • Tribal government issued identification (including those issued by BIA for a tribe located in North Dakota, any other tribal agency or entity, or any other document that sets forth the tribal member’s name, date of birth, and current North Dakota residential address)
  • Long term care identification certificate (provided by North Dakota facility)

Supplemental Documentation

  • If an individual’s valid form of identification does not include the North Dakota residential address or date of birth, or the North Dakota residential address is not current, the individual may supplement the identification with a current utility bill; a current bank statement; a check or a document issued by a federal, state, local, or tribal government (including those issued by BIA for a tribe located in North Dakota, any other tribal agency or entity, or any other document that sets forth the tribal member’s name, date of birth, and current North Dakota residential address); or a paycheck.

Set Aside Ballot Option

  • If an individual is not able to show a valid form of identification but asserts qualifications as an elector, the individual may mark a ballot that will be securely set aside. When the individual provides valid identification to the proper election official prior to the meeting of the canvassing board, the set aside ballot will be presented to the canvassing board for proper inclusion in the tally.

For more information see ID Required for Voting

 

Where to get an ID

Department of Motor Vehicles

Obtaining a Driver’s License

Casting a Ballot in North Dakota

Important Dates

 

*Dates and details for the November election will be determined later based on the current situation. 

Absentee voting

Due to the pandemic, voters can request an absentee ballot online. The multi-step process starts with selecting the type of ID you wish to use for the Absentee or Mail Ballot Application:

Driver's license

Non-driver's ID

Tribal ID

Passport or Military ID

Application without ID

Long-term care certificate (You will need to include the certificate with your application.)

 

Track my Absentee or Mail Ballot's Status

Printable forms:

*Absentee/Mail Ballot Application 

Absent Voter's Ballot Application-Agent Authorization (SFN 53933)
Absent Voter Ballot Application-President Only-New Resident (SFN 54449)

Absent Voter Ballot Application-President Only-Former Resident (SFN 54448)

Opening/closing dates

Military voters and voters who reside outside the U.S.

Who is eligible to use an absentee ballot?

All eligible North Dakotans have the option to request a ballot before the day of an election in a process known as absentee voting. You do not need to provide a reason for why you are requesting an absentee; however, you will be required to complete an application and sign an affidavit. You may submit an application anytime during the calendar year of an election; however, ballots are not available until the fortieth day before an election. Your application may be mailed, faxed, or personally delivered to your county auditor’s office.

You may live in a county using mail ballot elections (at least one polling place must be open on Election Day). In such counties a mail ballot application is required to be sent to every active voter between the 50th and 40th day before the election. The application is also to be printed in the County Official Newspaper for two consecutive weeks. Furthermore, applications may be requested from the auditor’s office or accessed online. Whether you vote absentee or by mail ballot your return envelope must be postmarked no later than the day before the election. If you are unable to meet this deadline then you will have to go to your appropriate polling place on Election Day to cast your ballot. _______________________________________________

Rides to the polls

Many organizations offer free rides to polling places. Some of these include:

  • Lyft provides free or discounted rides in some underserved communities
  • Political parties sometimes arrange rides for voters. Contact the local office:

Elections

Primaries vs. general elections

  • Primary elections are conducted to select each party’s candidates in the general election.
  • North Dakota has an Open Primary. In an open primary, any registered voter may participate in the primaries, regardless or political affiliation. However, voters must choose one party’s ballot.
  • In a general election, voters are not required to have a party affiliation.

Important Dates

Election Day is November 3rd, 2020

Important election dates can be found in the North Dakota Election Calendar

 

Who conducts elections?

  • The North Dakota Secretary of State is the Commissioner of Elections and oversees statewide and local elections
  • County election officials, who are primarily County Auditors, are responsible to the Secretary of State for administering state election laws, rules, and regulations.

Where to go with complaints about candidates or how elections are conducted

Voting Access Grievance/Complaint Form (SFN 54152)

Contest of Election

  • A contest of an election may be filed in the district court of the candidate’s county of residence.
  • If the contest is recounted, the complaint must be filed with the court within five days after final certification of a recount by the appropriate canvassing board.
  • If the contest is not recounted, the complaint must be filed within fourteen days after the final certification by the appropriate canvassing board.
  • If the grounds for the action are the illegal payment of money or other valuable thing or if the contestee does not or cannot meet the qualifications to hold the office as required by law, the action may be commenced at any time.

How to contact your elected officials:

 

General Resources on Voting and Elections

General Resources on Voting and Elections


Hotlines


1-866-OUR-VOTE (866-687-8683)

1-888-VE-Y-VOTA (en Español)

1-888-API-VOTE (Asian multilingual assistance)


Voter Registration & Election Day Resources

Find useful voter information including:

  • Local Election Office and Contact Information
  • Address, Telephone and Email for Local Election Offices
  • Upcoming Federal Election Dates and Deadlines
  • Upcoming State Election Dates and Deadlines
  • Eligibility Requirements
  • Identification Requirements
  • Voter Materials Transmission Options
  • State Lookup Tools – Am I Registered? Where’s my Ballot?

Population-Specific information and Resources

Voting Rights: Laws, Cases, Policy

Voter Engagement

Voter Education

Campaign Finance/Funding Information

Primary Sources, Lesson Plans & Exhibits

Disclaimer

Librarians from the Government Documents Round Table (GODORT), a Round Table of the American Library Association (ALA), created these reference guides. These guides are intended for informational purposes only and are not in any way intended to be legal advice.

These guides are designated with a Creative Commons license and re-use and modification for educational purposes is encouraged.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.