How to Vote in North Dakota's 2024 Elections

Posted on 06/14/24 by Maura Kelly Lannan

En español

Important dates and election information

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  • Absentee/mail ballots become available: Thursday, Sept. 26
  • Early voting begins: Monday, Oct. 21
  • Deadline to return an absentee/mail ballot: Monday, Nov. 4
  • General election: Tuesday, Nov. 5

Voting at a glance

  • Voter registration: North Dakota does not require voter registration.
  • Absentee voting: Eligible voters in mail ballot counties will be mailed an absentee ballot application. In all other counties, voters must request an application from their county auditor.
  • Early voting: Not all counties offer early in-person voting. Check with your county for dates and times, if available.
  • Voting at the polls: Voting hours vary by county. Bring an acceptable form of photo ID that includes your name, current North Dakota residential address and date of birth.

Recent changes to voting in North Dakota

A federal judge ruled that a new map altering the boundaries of certain state House and Senate districts be used for the 2024 elections. However, a ruling over those district lines is being appealed. Check the state’s polling place search tool to confirm your district and your voting location.

Voters with a disability that prevents them from independently marking an absentee ballot can request an electronic ballot from their county.

How to register to vote

North Dakota does not require voter registration. To vote, you must be a U.S. citizen, at least 18 years old and a North Dakota resident who has lived in a North Dakota precinct for at least 30 days prior to Election Day. Any eligible voter may cast a ballot if they provide acceptable identification.

Registering to vote on Election Day

North Dakota does not require voter registration.

How to request an absentee/mail ballot

Any eligible voter in North Dakota may request an absentee ballot. You will need to submit a new application each year. There is no cutoff date for requesting an absentee ballot.

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A voter places a ballot in a drop box in Fargo, N.D.
Dan Koeck/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Apply by mail or in person:

  • By mail: Complete the absentee/mail ballot application online, then print the form and mail it to your county auditor. While there is no cutoff date for requesting a ballot by mail, voters should account for mail delivery times. Counties need time to receive the application, process it and mail the ballot.
  • In person: Visit your county auditor's office. Mark and return your ballot while there, or take it home and return it by mail or in person. 
  • By fax/email: Fax your absentee ballot application or attach a scanned copy to an email and send it to your county auditor’s office.

Also, someone else can pick up your absentee/mail ballot for you if you submit an Agent Authorization request form, which also serves as your absentee ballot application. An agent can pick up ballots for up to four voters per election.

Returning an absentee/mail ballot

  • By mail: The return envelope must be postmarked with proper postage no later than 5 p.m. Monday, Nov. 4, the day before the election.
  • Drop box: Put your ballot in a drop box by 5 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 4. Find drop box locations at vote.nd.gov under the County Drop Boxes tab.

Use the state’s absentee/mail ballot tracker to check the status of your ballot.

Voting in person before Election Day 

County commissions decide whether to offer early in-person voting, which can start no earlier than Monday, Oct. 21. Locations, dates and times are available here.

Voting at the polls on Election Day

Polling locations cannot open earlier than 7 a.m. and must be open by 9 a.m., local time. All polling locations must remain open until 7 p.m. and close no later than 9 p.m., local time. Polling place voting hours are available through the Polling Place Search. If you are in line when the polls close, you will be allowed to vote.

Sample ballots will be available on the My Voting Information portal.

Voter ID requirements on Election Day

To vote, bring an acceptable form of photo ID that includes your name, current North Dakota residential address and date of birth. A state-issued driver’s license, nondriver’s ID card, tribal government-issued ID or Long Term Care Certificate is acceptable.

If your ID does not include your residential address or date of birth, or your address is not current, you can supplement the ID with another document, such as a current utility bill, bank statement or a check.

If you are unable to show a valid form of ID but qualify to vote, you can mark a ballot on Election Day or during early voting that will be set aside. You must then show valid ID at your county auditor’s office by Monday, Nov. 18.

Voting with a disability

Any voter can use the ExpressVote ballot marking device when voting in person. This device allows voters to use a touchscreen and includes accessibility features such as larger fonts, audio and contrast setting options, and the use of assistive devices like headphones or switches. Voters can also ask a trusted friend to help mark their ballot, or may request assistance from judges working at a polling location.

Voters with disabilities that may prevent them from independently marking an absentee ballot can request an electronic ballot from their county. The ballot is delivered through a secure electronic portal and allows voters to use screen readers and other tools to independently fill out an absentee ballot and return the ballot through the secure online portal.

Voting from a nursing home or long-term care facility

Voters living in a nursing home or long-term care facility can vote in person or by using an absentee/mail ballot. You can use either the address of the facility where you live or your permanent or previous address when requesting an absentee ballot. You can vote in person at the polling place assigned either to the facility, if you have lived there for 30 days before the election, or to your permanent or previous address. You can receive a Long Term Care Certificate from your facility that can be used as your identification.

Editor’s note: This guide was originally published on Dec. 27, 2023, and has been updated with new information about voting in the 2024 elections.

Maura Kelly Lannan is a writer, editor and producer for AARP who covers federal and state policy. She has worked as a reporter for the Associated Press, the Chicago Tribune and the Waterbury, Connecticut, Republican-American. She also has written for Bloomberg Government, The Boston Globe and other publications. 

Also of Interest:

This story is provided by AARP North Dakota. Visit the AARP North Dakota page for more news, events, and programs affecting retirement, health care, and more.

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