Some things go better if you’re prepared. Get ready to vote now to make your voice heard in the next critical election!

The fight for voting rights remains as critical as ever. Politicians across the country continue to engage in voter suppression, efforts that include additional obstacles to registration, cutbacks on early voting, and strict voter identification requirements. Through litigation and advocacy, the ACLU is fighting back against attempts to curtail an essential right to our democracy: the right to vote.

Here are a few ways you can be prepared to get your vote in easily, get your vote counted, and make sure your voice is heard in North Dakota:

  • Check your voter ID status at least 30 days before the election.
  • Locate your polling place and note the hours of operation. 

  • Consider voting early or absentee if possible. If you plan to vote at the polls, go early in the day to avoid the last-minute rush.

  • Identification is required to vote in North Dakota. Check to see if your ID lists your current residential address.

  • Confirm that your ID meets the requirements to vote in North Dakota by visiting here

  • If anyone challenges you about voting, don't get mad - get help

More information 

  • North Dakota Secretary of State
    vote.nd.gov or 800-352-0867
  • Election Protection
    866-687-8683
  • U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division, Voting Section
    800-253-3931

This page is a resource, not legal advice. It is provided for informational purposes only. North Dakota may revise its laws after the publication of this card.
If you believe your rights have been violated or for more information, contact us at northdakota@aclu.org

General voting information

Q.General voting information
A.

Basic requirements:

  • You must be a citizen of the US, a resident of North Dakota, have lived in a precinct for the 30 days before an election, and be 18 years of age or older.

Voting if you’re attending college:

  • If you attend college in your hometown and still reside at home, you should vote in the precinct of your residence. If you attend school away from your North Dakota residence and you live on or off campus, you may still vote in your hometown elections if your address is still associated to that residence. You can do this either by absentee voting or by voting in person on Election Day at your hometown precinct polling place.

Voting with a criminal record: 

  • If you were convicted of a misdemeanor, you can vote, even if you are in jail.
  • If you were convicted of a felony, you can vote if you have finished your term of imprisonment. You cannot vote if you are in prison, but can if you have been charged with a crime and not convicted. People on parole or probation can vote. 

Voting if you’re experiencing homelessness:

  • You don’t need a home to vote, but you do have to identify a place of residence (which can be a street corner, a park, a shelter, or any other place where you usually stay). You must also provide a mailing address.

Voting and ADA requirements: 

  • Call your county auditor right away and ask for accommodation or reassignment to an accessible polling place if you require it. All polling places are required to be compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. 
  • If you feel you cannot vote on the day of election, fill out an absentee ballot application and mail it to your county election official as soon as possible. 
  • If you need help because of a physical disability or because you have difficulty reading or writing in English, tell a poll worker when you get to the polling place. If you need instructions on how to use the voting equipment, ask a poll worker for help. They are required to help you anytime, even if you ask after entering the voting booth.  

Moving and name changes:  

  • You must be a resident of your voting precinct for 30 days prior to the election. If you moved less than 30 days before the election, you won’t be able to vote in the election. 
  • If you moved at least 30 days before the election and have updated your address on your I.D. you can vote in the election.
  • If you’re unable to update your I.D. ahead of Election Day, another document may be provided to the election official, such as: 
  • A current utility bill
  • A current bank statement
  • A check issued by a federal, state, local, or tribal government
  • A paycheck
  • A document issued by a federal, state, local, or tribal government. 

Voting early and absentee

Q.Voting early and absentee
A.

Can I vote before Election Day?

  • Yes, any person eligible to vote can do so, on or before Election Day by casting an absentee ballot or by casting a ballot in person at an early voting center.

How do I get an absentee ballot?

  • Absentee ballots are made available to military voters and their families stationed away from their North Dakota residence and residents residing overseas on the 46th day before the General Election. 
  • Absentee ballots for all other North Dakota residents are made available on the 40th day before the General Election.
  • Get an application for an absentee ballot at vote.nd.gov.
  • Ballots must be returned the day prior to the election or to a ballot box by 7 p.m. on Election Day. 

Voting on election day

Q.Voting on election day
A.

Election Day 2020

  • Nov. 3, 2020, with polls opening at 7 a.m. and closing at 7 p.m. 

If you are running late

  • You have the right to vote if you’re in line or inside your polling place when the polls close. 

Getting time off

  • If your work schedule would make it practically impossible for you to vote in-person while the polls are open, your employer is required to give you time off to vote without penalty or deduction in your wages. Ask your employer for time off before Election Day and confirm the hours you get off. 

Finding your polling location

  • On Election Day you must vote at your assigned polling place, which can be found at: vote.nd.gov.

Voter I.D. laws

Q.Voter I.D. laws
A.

All voters who appear at polling places must show proof of identification.

  • Bring one of the four acceptable types of I.D.: 
  • North Dakota driver’s license or non-driver I.D.
  • A North Dakota long-term care I.D. certificate 
  • Tribal I.D.

Your ID MUST have a residential address listed. P.O. boxes will not be accepted.

  • Residents without a street address should contact their county’s 911 coordinator to sign up for a free street address and request a letter confirming that address in order to vote.
  • Native American voters who do not currently have a residential street address assigned will be given the opportunity to locate their residence on a map either at the polls or when applying for an absentee ballot and can still have their votes counted. For more information about this process contact your tribal government or the office of the North Dakota Secretary of State.

If the information on the I.D. is incorrect, missing, or is a mailing address rather than a residential street address, the information may be updated by providing documentation that contains the correct information to the election official distributing the ballot.

  • The documents that may be provided are a current utility bill; a current bank statement; a check or a document issued by a federal, state, local, or tribal government (including those issued by BIA for a tribe located in North Dakota, any other tribal agency or entity, or any other document that sets forth the tribal member’s name, date of birth, and current North Dakota residential address); or a paycheck. 

Voter affidavits are OUT. “Set-aside” ballots are IN.

  • If you forget your I.D. or supplemental documents, you can vote using a “set-aside” ballot. If you vote this way, you have to return to the polling place on the day of the election or go to your County Auditor office before the meeting of the County Canvassing Board six days after the election with appropriate proof that you are qualified to vote at that location. 

Common questions

Q.Common questions
A.

What if I make a mistake on the ballot? 

  • It happens. You can request a new ballot from the poll worker.

What if someone tries to intimidate or harrass me? 

  • Tell a poll worker. If a poll worker is the problem, tell a poll watcher, call your county auditor. 

If I don’t have an I.D. for voting, where do I get one?  

  • ND Department of Transportation (DOT) driver’s license – Licensing Sites.
  • DOT Nondriver’s I.D. cards – Provided at no cost.
  • Tribal government issued identification (including those issued by BIA for a tribe located in North Dakota, any other tribal agency or entity, or any other document that sets forth the tribal member’s name, date of birth, and current North Dakota residential address).
  • Long term care identification certificate (provided by North Dakota facility).

What if my I.D. doesn’t have my current residential address?

  • Most ND driver’s licenses and nondriver I.D. cards can be updated at no cost by calling the DOT at 701-328-4353 or online. The card itself does not need to be replaced, notifying DOT is enough.
  • Tribal I.D.s are updated with your tribal office. In this case the ID must be replaced.
  • Please note, this brochure is a resource, not legal advice. It is provided for informational purposes only. North Dakota may revise its laws after this card is printed or published online.
  • If you believe your rights have been violated or for more information on your rights as a voter, contact us at aclund.org or email northdakota@aclu.org.

Get involved

Q.Get involved
A.
  • Become a precinct worker: Precinct workers are key players in running polling places on Election Day.
  • This paid position is recruited by your County Auditor. Find out more by visiting sos.nd.gov.