Voters going to the polls TuesdayThe primary election is nearly here, with polls opening at 7 a.m. Tuesday in four Stutsman County locations. Tuesday’s primary will offer North Dakotans the chance to vote on four statewide measures, select candidates for a number of local positions and narrow down hopefuls in their political party prior to November’s general election.
By: Brian Willhide, The Jamestown Sun
The primary election is nearly here, with polls opening at 7 a.m. Tuesday in four Stutsman County locations.
Tuesday’s primary will offer North Dakotans the chance to vote on four statewide measures, select candidates for a number of local positions and narrow down hopefuls in their political party prior to November’s general election.
“Every election is so important, whether it be a primary or general election,” said Al Jaeger, North Dakota secretary of state. “This gives people the opportunity to express their desire about controversial measures and vote for who they want to represent them in many capacities.”
What’s being voted on
There are three different parts of the primary ballot for voters — the party ballot, the no-party ballot and the measure ballot.
There are two contested races on the party ballot, each of which is on the Republican side for U.S. Congress. For District 12 voters, there is also a contested Republican race for the North Dakota Senate.
Rep. Rick Berg, R-N.D., is opposing Duane Sand for the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate.
Kevin Cramer and Brian Kalk are the two options for the Republican nomination for the U.S. House of Representatives.
The race for the District 12 Republican nomination for state Senate is between Dwaine Heinrich and Bernie Satrom. The winner will advance to the November election against uncontested Democratic candidate John Grabinger.
On the no-party ballot, there are three contested races for Jamestown voters to decide on: City Council and Jamestown Public School Board, rural and city.
For the City Council, six candidates are vying for three seats: Charlie Kourajian (incumbent), Jodi Mjoen, Steve Brubakken, Dan Buchanan, Samuel Upton and Jacqueline Dotzenrod.
For the Jamestown Public School Board’s rural seat, two candidates are running for one seat: Terry Anderson and Melissa Gleason.
For the School Board’s three open city seats, four candidates are vying for the openings: incumbents Gail Martin and Diane Hanson and Dina Laskowski and Roger Haut.
On the measure ballot, four measures — three constitutional and one referendum — will give voters a simple “yes” or “no” option.
Measure 1, if passed, would “prohibit the appointment of a member of the Legislative Assembly to a state office for which the compensation was increased in an amount greater than any general legislative increase provided to full-time state employees during the member’s term of office,” as it will read on the ballot.
Measure 2, if passed, would eliminate state property taxes.
Measure 3, if passed, would add a measure to the state constitution that “Government may not burden a person’s or religious organization’s religious liberty,” as it will read on the ballot.
Measure 4, if passed, would allow the University of North Dakota to retire its Fighting Sioux nickname and logo.
What you need to vote
Early voting in Stutsman County began May 29 and will continue from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. today as well as from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday.
During these times, all county voters can cast their ballots at the Stutsman County Courthouse.
Otherwise, all Stutsman County residents can vote at the Jamestown Civic Center from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday. Rural voters may also vote at their respective precincts in Pingree, Kensal and Medina from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. as well.
While the busiest voting times on Tuesday will likely be around lunchtime and just after the standard workday ends, Stutsman County Auditor and Chief Operating Officer Casey Bradley said he hopes early voting would alleviate having too much traffic at the polls on Tuesday.
“People still have opportunities to come in early to the courthouse and cast their vote if they don’t want to wait until election day,” he said.
North Dakota is currently the only state that does not currently have voter registration.
According to the Stutsman County website, in order to vote in North Dakota, you must be: a U.S. citizen; at least 18 years old on primary election day; a legal North Dakota resident; and a resident in your precinct for 30 days preceding the election.
You must have an acceptable form of identification to vote, unless an election poll worker is able to vouch for your identity and residence or you complete a voter’s affidavit on which you certify your identity and that you are a resident within your precinct.
Tallying the votes
According to the North Dakota Secretary of State’s Office website, voting results will begin to be posted starting at 8 p.m. Tuesday.
Jaeger said that as soon as each county’s auditor’s office transmits the results electronically to the state level, they will be available for the public to see at www.nd.gov/sos/electvote / .
“Whenever those results get to us, they’re immediately posted to our website for everyone to see as the night goes on,” Jaeger said.
Bradley said as soon as polls close at 7 p.m. Tuesday, his department will be going to work to get results posted as soon as possible.
“Results will be available on our Stutsman County website as well once we’re able to have our rural polling districts’ machines read in addition to counting small city ballots and write-in votes,” he said.
As for how long it would take for races to be called based on the unofficial results, Jaeger said he couldn’t give an exact timetable.
“How long that might take, I have no way of predicting,” he said.
For more information on Stutsman County voting, visit www.co.stutsman. nd.us/election.html.
Sun reporter Brian Willhide can be reached at 701-952-8454 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org