Know how to vote

A college students guide to voting

In North Dakota students can vote if they: are a U.S. citizen, 18 years of age or older, a resident of ND, been a resident of their precinct for at least 30 days, able to provide adequate ID.

North Dakota does not have voter registration so voters do not have to worry about registering before heading to the polls, unless they plan on voting in their home states. 

What if I am not from ND?

Students not from North Dakota can still vote in ND elections by changing their drivers license over to ND, or vote from their home state either in person or by absentee ballot, however voter registration may be required in their home state.

Dr. Kjersten Nelson, a Political Science Professor, encouraged out-of-state students to look into how they can still vote in their hometown elections. 

“If you are not from North Dakota, at this point the best option would be, if you do not have a North Dakota ID, would be to check out where you are from and do either early voting, go home and vote early if such a thing exists or to do an absentee ballot,” said Dr. Nelson. “The secretary of state for your state would be a great place to start to do some research on how to get your absentee ballot.”

What if I am from a different city in ND?

Students can continue to vote in their hometowns if their identification still reflects that residence either in person or by requesting an absentee ballot which allows them to vote by mail. 

Students who are not from Fargo can still vote here by updating their license to their current address, which can be a dorm hall, or provide supplemental information with a current utility bill, a current bank statement, a check or a document issued by a federal, state, local, or tribal government or a paycheck. It is important to note that a citizen must have lived in their precinct for at least 30 days before they can vote.

Students can also supplement a printed document containing the student’s name, address, and date of birth issued by the institution of higher education containing the institution’s letterhead or seal, along with a student photo identification card issued by the institution and containing the student’s photograph and legal name.

“When you show up to vote they’ll ask you for an ID. If you have a picture ID that doesn’t have your current address on it then you can bring some other documentation, like bills you get in the mail to your current address, and that would probably be the easiest way to prove where you live,” said Dr. Nelson. “If you show up and you forgot your documentation or you have some documentation that you thought was fine and they say it isn’t, you should ask for a provisional ballot. So don’t give up, just fill out the provisional ballot so that that gives you some time to get the documentation that you would need.”

Can felons vote?

Felons can still vote in ND as long as they are no longer in their term of incarceration. More information on these rights can be found in ND Century Code, Chapter 12.1-33 Rights of Convicts.

“12.1-33-02. Rights retained by convicted person.

Except as otherwise provided by law, a person convicted of a crime does not suffer civil

death or corruption of blood or sustain loss of civil rights or forfeiture of estate or property, but

retains all of his rights, political, personal, civil, and otherwise, including the right to hold public

office or employment; to vote; to hold, receive, and transfer property; to enter into contracts; to

sue and be sued; and to hold offices of private trust in accordance with law.”

When can I vote?

Election day is November 8th and students can find their closest polling locations by entering their address in The Fargodome is also a polling place both on election day and open during early voting. The address for the Fargodome is 1800 University Drive North, Fargo, ND 58102.

The Fargodome will be open on election day from 7am-7pm as well as October 31st to November 4th from 10am-6pm, for early voting.

Why should I vote?

“I would say it’s one of the easiest things you can do to exercise both your rights and your privileges and your responsibilities as a citizen, especially once you have figured out the right identification to go,” said Dr. Nelson. “It doesn’t require a lot of you to make your voice in democracy heard, and as a democracy we rely on people to make their voices heard to run in a representative way, so it’s a duty and a privilege that is necessary for our democracy to run.”

What do I need to bring?

All you need to vote is a valid and acceptable form of ID and/or any supplemental information proving your place of residence if it is incorrect on your ID. Acceptable forms of Identification can be found on

Where can I find information on candidates?

“I would say if there is an issue that you are particularly interested in you can do some googling so you can look around. Of course the candidates will have their own information about themselves on their websites, so you can always start their, and then I would say if you have questions about ‘what does this actually mean,’ then you can do a little more googling to see what other newspaper reports have said about stances on various issues or votes that candidates may have taken in the past,” Dr. Nelson said. 

“The world is really at your fingertips when it comes to election information and it’s just a matter of students being sophisticated about it or knowing how to feed through the spam to figure out the information they want. I also wouldn’t hesitate to ask people you trust,” Dr. Nelson said. 

Information sourced from 

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