Know Your Rights: Voting in North Dakota

Your vote is your voice – and casting your ballot is a cornerstone of democracy.

But with the clock ticking down to Election Day, it’s never been more important to finalize your voting plan to ensure your voice is heard.

Return Your Absentee Ballot

Do you still have an absentee ballot? Under North Dakota law, mailed ballots postmarked by the day before the election are to be counted if they arrive in time to be part of the canvassing process the Monday following the election. We recommend mailing your completed ballot today in order for it to arrive on time. You can also deliver your completed ballot to your county auditor's office – deadlines vary by county. Either way, don't forget to sign the outside envelope! Then, track the status of your ballot at

Vote Early

If you didn't request an absentee ballot to be mailed to you, you can still skip the lines on Election Day in some counties. Early voting dates and hours vary. Find locations in the Early Voting Available Counties tab on the Secretary of State's website.

Vote on Election Day

If you don’t have time before or just like the tradition, you can head to your local polling place on Election Day. Double check your polling location, request time off from work if needed, bring your ID and remember this number – 1-866-687-8683 – if you run into any problems while voting. Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. If you are in line by 7 p.m. when the polls close, you can vote – stay in line until you cast your ballot.

¿Necesita información para votantes en español? Lea estos documentos.

If you have problems voting or have additional questions, please call the national, non-partisan Election Protection hotline:

  • English: 1-866-OUR-VOTE (1-866-687-8683)
  • Spanish: 1-888-VE-Y-VOTA (1-888-839-8682)
  • Arabic: 1-844-YALLA-US (1-844-925-5287)
  • Bengali, Cantonese, Hindi, Urdu, Korean, Mandarin, Tagalog, or Vietnamese: 1-888-274-8683

General voting information

A.General voting information


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 ID you can vote in the election.
  • If you’re unable to update your ID 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 on Election Day

A.Voting on Election Day


Election Day

  • The General Election is typically on the Tuesday after the first Monday in the month of Nov., with polls operating between at 7 a.m. - 7 p.m. The General Election Day for 2022 is on Nov. 8, 2022. 
  • Primary election dates can vary. The 2022 Primary in North Dakota lands on June 14, 2022. 

Running late to the polls

  • You have the right to vote if you’re in line or inside your polling place by 7 p.m. 

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

Voting early and absentee

A.Voting early and absentee


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
  • Ballots must be returned the day prior to the election or to a ballot drop box by 7 p.m. on Election Day. 

Early voting locations

A.Early voting locations


Not all counties allow early voting: Find out where and when you can vote early.

When you arrive make sure to have your state issued ID or other acceptable identification.

Voter ID laws

A.Voter ID laws


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

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

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 ID 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 ID 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's 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

A.Common questions


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 ID for voting, where do I get one?  

  • ND Department of Transportation (DOT) driver’s license – Licensing Sites.
  • DOT Nondriver’s ID 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 ID doesn’t have my current residential address?

  • Most ND driver’s licenses and nondriver ID 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 or email

Get involved

A.Get involved


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 contacting your County Auditor.