NORTH DAKOTA: VOTE BY MAIL FOR SECURE ELECTIONS IN 2020

A STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE FOR NORTH DAKOTA ELECTIONS OFFICIALS

ABOUT THIS RESOURCE

Sightline’s state-by-state guides are designed to give local election officials and legislators the information they need to identify and take the most important steps to get ready for November. Each set of state-specific resources includes best practices and established models from around the country, including practical nuts and bolts advice for clerks, materials from election administrators with experience conducting all mail elections, and information about vendors and costs.

How North Dakota is prepared for Vote By Mail

  • Allows any voter to request an absentee ballot.
  • Uses voters’ signatures to verify ballots.
  • Accepts mailed ballots postmarked on Election Day.
  • Allows voters to register and request an absentee ballot online.
  • Allows community organizations to collect and deliver sealed ballots.

RECOMMENDED STEPS FOR SECURE ELECTIONS

Within each section, recommendations are arranged roughly in order of importance and ease of implementation.

For Local Election Officials
  • Coordinate with USPS.
  • Design ballots and envelopes that are easy to use.
  • Implement robust signature verification.
  • Provide secure drop boxes.
  • Provide Election Day vote centers for in-person voting.
  • Consider using a professional printer and ballot sorter.
  • Count ballots at a secure centralized facility.
  • Include a postage-prepaid return envelope.
  • Invest in high-speed centralized equipment.
For North Dakota’s Secretary of State
  • Use a comprehensive system to track ballots.
  • Mail absentee application forms to all registered voters.
  • Give voters sufficient opportunity to cure signature problems.
For Lawmakers
  • Join the Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC).
  • Account for voters with nontraditional addresses.
  • Give voters a “single sign-up” option.
  • Allow counties to start processing envelopes early.
  • Allow counties to accept ballots postmarked on Election Day.
  • Allow voters to request replacement ballots online.
  • Allow early in-person voting options.
  • Automatically register voters and update their address.

 

Download the full North Dakota action packet, with detailed information for each recommendation.

North Dakota's Grade for Vote By Mail preparedness = C-

Our grading system: We evaluated each state on 16 factors, covering access, administration efficiency, security, and infrastructure.

 

Contact us

We welcome your questions and feedback. Email Kristin Eberhard, director of Sightline’s Democracy research program.

Photos: Vote By Mail in North Dakota. Shutterstock.