North Dakota House passes bill to ensure physical polling places

The bill would ban another all-mail election

Monte Stein, a volunteer for the Nov. 8, 2022, midterm election, sets up voting booths for District 47's Precinct 4701 on Nov. 7, 2022, at Century Baptist Church in northwest Bismarck.
Contributed / Mike McCleary

BISMARCK — The North Dakota House of Representatives on Monday passed a bill to ensure physical polling places, similar to legislation that failed in 2021, brought in the wake of North Dakota's all-mail June 2020 election.

House Bill 1167, by Rep. Steve Vetter, R-Grand Forks, passed unanimously and now goes to the Senate.

The bill states: "The governor may not issue an executive order that suspends or amends a provision in a statute, order, or rule relating to a state or local requirement regarding minimum number of physical polling places."

Rep. Claire Cory, R-Grand Forks, said the bill guarantees a physical polling place in every county and would ban an all-mail election.

"This is an important election integrity bill for those constituents who like to vote in person," Cory told the House.


Gov. Doug Burgum in 2020 signed an executive order waiving the requirement that counties provide at least one physical polling site for the June 2020 election, due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The House and Senate in 2021 had passed the previous bill, but the Senate reconsidered it and it failed by a single vote.

House Bill 1167 is among a flurry of election-related bills filed by supermajority North Dakota Republican lawmakers, continuing a trend from 2021. The Legislature that year handled more than 40 election-related bills in the wake of the 2020 presidential election and former President Donald Trump's baseless claims of election fraud.

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