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More than 45,000 ballots cast prior to Election Day in North Dakota

The mail-in and early voting turnout this year is far below the 160,000-vote tally from June 2020, when all ballots were required to be returned by mail due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Six women bustle about behind a table while three voters wait for their ballots.
Voters pick up their ballots for early voting at the Double Tree in West Fargo on Monday, June 6, 2022.
David Samson / The Forum
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BISMARCK — About 47,900 North Dakotans have cast their ballots through mail-in or early voting prior to the state's Tuesday, June 14, primary election, according to an official tally from Monday.

The North Dakota secretary of state's office reports that about 38,300 absentee and mail-in ballots had been returned as of Monday, accounting for 76% of the ballots sent out to those who requested them. All mail-in ballots must be returned to county auditors or postmarked by Monday to be counted.

Another 9,600 residents cast their ballots at polling places prior to Election Day, according to the secretary of state's website.

The mail-in and early voting turnout this year is far below the 160,000-vote tally from June 2020, when all ballots were required to be returned by mail due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Cass County election coordinator DeAnn Buckhouse told Forum News Service about 3,500 residents of the state's largest county returned mail-in ballots, and nearly 4,100 voted early in-person.

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A Stutsman County official said 165 residents returned absentee ballots, and 277 voted early as of Monday afternoon.

Officials from Burleigh, Grand Forks and Stark counties either did not respond to requests for comment or had not prepared a tally of early and mail-in votes.

Secretary of State Al Jaeger said he expects high turnout in places like Fargo and Bismarck, where voters can weigh in on contested races for municipal or state offices.

The hours for polling places on Tuesday vary, but they all must open between 7 and 9 a.m. and close between 7 and 9 p.m. Those in line when the poll closes are still allowed to vote, no matter how long that takes after the polling time ends.

To find a polling place, go to vip.sos.nd.gov/wheretovote.aspx.

Jeremy Turley is a Bismarck-based reporter for Forum News Service, which provides news coverage to publications owned by Forum Communications Company.
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