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Election results certified with nearly 350K ballots cast

BISMARCK -- Nearly 350,000 North Dakotans cast ballots in this month's general election, setting a new record. Members of the State Canvassing Board met in North Dakota Secretary of State Al Jaeger's office Friday morning, with official results p...

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BISMARCK - Nearly 350,000 North Dakotans cast ballots in this month's general election, setting a new record.

Members of the State Canvassing Board met in North Dakota Secretary of State Al Jaeger's office Friday morning, with official results putting the vote tally for the Nov. 8 election at 349,945.

This came to a 61.29 percent turnout of the estimated 570,955 eligible voters in the state.

"It was also 61 percent four years ago," Jaeger said. "We still had 61 percent of the turnout, but the number of eligible voters was lower four years ago."

In the 2012 general election, a total of 325,862 votes cast ballots in North Dakota. There were an estimated 532,776 eligible voters that year and turnout was at 61.16 percent.

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Since 1980, the lowest voter turnout was 57 percent in 1996, when total ballots cast numbered 271,861.

"Thirty-eight percent of ballots were cast before Election Day," Jaeger said.

A total of 134,483 ballots were cast prior to Nov. 8. This is less than the total of 136,685 total ballots cast prior to Election Day in 2012.

A combined total of 83,534 absentee and vote-by-mail ballots were cast out of 88,195 sent out prior to the election. Early voting totaled 50,949 ballots cast before Election Day.

No election results were changed as a result of Friday's certifying of results, though Fargo's District 46 state Senate race is eligible for a demand recount.

In District 46, Republican Jim Roers defeated Democratic-NPL Sen. George Sinner by 37 votes. Sinner this week said he won't pursue a recount.

Under state law, a candidate in a general election can demand a recount if the vote total is more than 0.5 percent but less than 2 percent below the highest vote-getter. An automatic recount in a general election is triggered by a margin of less than 0.5 percent.

A demand recount for a legislative candidate must be submitted in writing within three days of the state canvassing board meeting. Candidates must also provide a bond in the amount previously determined by the county auditor.

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Election results and voting information can be found at www.sos.nd.gov .

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