FARGO - Cass County commissioners agreed to keep polling hours for the 2018 election cycle the same as the previous cycle at their meeting Monday, April 16, despite an earlier proposal to close polls an hour early.
That means polling hours will be 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. for the June 12 primary election and the Nov. 6 general election.
Commissioners voted unanimously to keep polling hours as they are. There was no substantial discussion of the issue.
County Auditor Mike Montplaisir, who proposed closing polls at 7 p.m., said data shows fewer people voted after that time but not everyone supported the change.
He had earlier asked party chairs in the county's 13 legislative districts for input and found support among Republicans but opposition among Democrats, who say some voters work odd or late hours.
About 1,500 out of 80,000 who cast their votes in 2016 did so after 7 p.m., according to Montplaisir. That's less than 2 percent.
Commissioner Vern Bennett said 1,500 is still a lot of people in one day.
Montplaisir said that's true but there would still be lots of opportunity to vote in the county given that the county also makes early voting available.
Commissioners also voted to move three polling locations and early voting hours and locations.
Precinct 27-02 will move from Living Waters Lutheran Church to Edgewood Vista and Village. Precinct 41-01 will move from Bethel Evangelical Church to Dr. James Carlson Library for the primary election and return to the church for the general election. Precinct 46-02 will move from Atonement Lutheran to First United Methodist South Campus.
Early voting will be available 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. June 4 to 8 at the West Fargo Doubletree Inn, which was formerly Cambria Suites; and the Fargo Ramada Inn, formerly the Baymont Inn. There will also be early voting during the same hours June 6 to 8 at the Casselton Days Inn.