FARGO — The ballot box outside of the Cass County Courthouse has seen a lot of action over the past few weeks, with many people dropping by to drop in their envelopes.
Nearly 190,000 ballots have been sent out statewide, beating the previous record of over 175,000 in the 2012 June primary.
"It's a historic election for the state of North Dakota," said Mike Montplaisir, the financial director and auditor for Cass County.
Of the 190,000 ballots, about 36,000 of them are in Cass County, and about one-third of them have been turned in so far.
Along with the ballot box, mailboxes have also been filling up with ballots, since polling places won't be open for the primary.
"(It's) a little bit difficult to do (a mail-only election) when you don't have voter registration, but we'll make it work," Montplaisir said.
According to Al Jaeger, North Dakota's secretary of state, a common problem he's seeing with ballots is people forgetting to sign and date them.
He's also seen more ballots come in earlier than normal, since voters have to get them postmarked before the June 8th deadline.
"Normally, ballots like this cannot start to be processed until the day before the election, and the fact that we have five days really helps a lot," Jaeger said.
Despite the extra time to process the ballots, Jaeger said the earlier you can get them in the mail, the better.
"It does take time to process them, and we do encourage people to get their vote in," he said.
Counties can start processing their votes as early as Wednesday, June 3, but they won't be counted until the election on June 9th.
At the time of publication, about half of the statewide ballots have been returned to the state, which county auditors hope is a sign that voter turnout will only go up from here.
"Everybody is expressing their opinion on the ballot, and I think that's good," Montplaisir said.