Ballots will be mailed to all eligible voters for the June primary
North Dakota residents will be receiving absentee ballot information in the mail from North Dakota Secretary of State, Al Jaeger. According to a press release from the Cass County Government, “residents have started receiving absentee applications in the mail.” On March 26, North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum signed an executive order encouraging all North Dakota counties to utilize a vote by mail program. All 53 counties approved the vote by mail program for the local primary elections on June 9. By utilizing a vote by mail program county commissioners are hoping to reduce the chance of spreading COVID-19 at the polls.
Every citizen that is eligible to vote will receive an application for an absentee ballot through the mail. According to nd.gov, all eligible citizens should receive their ballot application by May 11. If citizens do not receive their ballot, they are told to reach out to local county auditors to receive an application. Applications are also available online at vote.nd.gov. Ballots will need to be returned by mail by June 8. Each county will have secure drop boxes available for voters to return ballots. Residents that require assistance filling out ballots should contact their local county auditor.
Residents wanting an absentee ballot for the general election in November can apply on vote.nd.gov. There is no deadline for requesting an absentee ballot, but it is recommended to apply at least 7 days before the election. Absentee ballots will need to be returned by mail no later than one day before November 3.
This comes at a time when more and more states are recommending citizens vote by mail. Wisconsin’s primary election according to health officials in the state was linked, ironically, to 19 new cases of COVID-19. The secretaries of state in both Minnesota and Arizona have proposed mail-in ballots for all registered voters during the presidential election. However, both House and Senate Republicans have opposed utilizing a vote by mail program, saying it would increase Democratic turnout and could lead to voter fraud. A study from Stanford University found that “vote by mail does not appear to affect either party’s share of turnout…” All six swing states, Florida, North Carolina, Arizona, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin already allow for residents to vote by mail.
A poll conducted by the Wall Street Journal and NBC News found that 67 percent of eligible voters favor a vote by mail option in the upcoming general election. Of those surveyed, 69 percent of Democrats supported the plan. While 69 percent of independents and 44 percent of Republicans surveyed, also approved.