General election information for Stark County voters
Absentee ballots must be returned by Nov. 7. Those who want to vote early in Stark County can do so at The Prairie Hills Mall in Dickinson.
STARK COUNTY, N.D. — The general election is just around the corner, but those who don’t want to wait until Nov. 8 have other options. Early Voting will be available for Stark County residents Nov. 1-3 at the Prairie Hills Mall in Dickinson from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m.
Stark County Auditor Karen Richard said all eligible voters in the county are able to early vote. The ballots cast during early voting will not be processed until election day, but early voting is otherwise comparable to election day voting, she added.
“As far as checking in and getting your ballot and everything like that, it's all the same processes as election day,” Richard said.
Absentee ballots will be sent out to those who want them until Nov. 3, but must be returned by 5 p.m. on Nov. 7, she said.
“On the day of the election, we no longer accept absentee ballots,” Richard said. “If you were to show up at the site with an absentee ballot, we can't accept it, but we can void it and then you can vote.”
Each absentee ballot is scanned before it’s given out and then scanned again when it’s returned.
“So we know who we've received absentee ballots from and your signatures have to match on your absentee ballot,” Richard said. “When you turn it in, it has to have a signature on it. And that signature has to match your application too.”
On election day, voting centers will be open 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Prairie Hills Mall, Biesiot Activity Center, Belfield City Hall and Richardton City Hall. Voters must have show identification to vote. Valid forms of ID include a driver's License, non-driver's identification card, tribal government issued identification card or a long-term care identification certificate provided by ND facility. Voters must reside somewhere for at least 30 days in order to vote in that district, Richard said.
“Let's say you move from Richardton to Belfield and you've been in Belfield for 15 days,” Richard explained. “We would actually have to give you a ballot for Richardton because that's where you were and you have to be somewhere for 30 days to vote on like the Belfield ballot.”
Richard said election results are processed through a stand-alone computer, not connected to the internet, using USB drives connected to the voting machines.
“So the machine is scanning your ballot when you put your ballot in the machine and actually takes a full picture scan of your ballot and then we don't actually touch the paper ballot,” Richard said. “They are locked and sealed by the inspector at the end of election night.”
The voting machines are tested for accuracy prior to early voting, she added. In North Dakota, citizens are not required to cast a vote for everything on the ballot. The ballots are counted whether a voter fills the ballot out for one or all of the candidates and measures, Richard said.
“A lot of people, especially new voters, think that they have to fill in every race in order for their votes to count and that's not the case,” Richard said.
As of Friday afternoon approximately 71,000 votes had been cast so far in the state. In an email to The Dickinson Press, Secretary of State Al Jaeger's office encouraged voters to visit vote.nd.gov for additional details.
Local races Stark County voters will find on their ballots are as follows:
- District 4 County Commissioner: Paul D. Clarys and Carla Arthaud
- County Auditor/Treasurer candidates Monica Kram and Karen Richard
- County Sheriff candidates Fern Moser and Corey Lee
- District 39 of the State Senate: Thea Lee and Greg Kessel
Dickinson residents can vote on Dickinson City Measure No. 01, which would allow for an increase of one percentage point on the sales, use and gross receipts tax within the city.
Statewide measures are as follows
- Initiated Constitutional Measure No. 1 which would add a new article to the North Dakota Constitution. According to sample ballots “Under this measure, an individual could not serve as a state legislator for a total of more than eight years in either the North Dakota House of Representatives or the North Dakota Senate, separately. It would also prohibit an individual from being elected as governor more than twice.”
- Initiated Statutory Measure No. 2 which would create a new chapter of the North Dakota Century Code. According to sample ballots “It would legalize the production, processing, and sale of cannabis and the possession and use of various forms of cannabis by individuals who are 21 years of age or older within limitations as to location; direct a state entity to regulate and register businesses that produce or dispense cannabis for use by individuals aged 21 years or older, and the business' agents; permit an individual aged 21 years or older to possess a limited amount of cannabis product; provide protections, limitations, penalties, and employer rights relating to use of cannabis products; and specify that fees are to be appropriated for administration of the chapter.
Statewide races and respective candidates
- U.S. Senator: John Hoeven, Rick Becker and Katrina Christiansen
- Representative in Congress: Kelly Armstrong and Kara Mund
- Secretary of State: Michael Howe, Charles Tuttle and Jeffrey Powell
- Attorney General: Drew Wrigley and Timothy Charles (Tim) Lamb
- Agriculture Commissioner: Doug Goehring and Fintan L Dooley
- Public Service Commissioner: Julie Fedorchak and Melanie Moniz
- Public Service Commissioner: Trygve Hammer and Sheri Haugen-Hoffart