Early voting begins on Monday: Voters should bring some form of identification when casting ballotEarly voting for the Nov. 6 election begins Monday at the Stutsman County Courthouse. Voters can cast their ballots through the early voting process through Nov. 5.
By: Keith Norman, The Jamestown Sun
By Keith Norman
The Jamestown Sun
Early voting for the Nov. 6 election begins Monday at the Stutsman County Courthouse. Voters can cast their ballots through the early voting process through Nov. 5.
“We operate the polls the same as the work hours at the courthouse during the week,” said Casey Bradley, county auditor and chief operating officer. “We’re open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Oct. 27 and Nov. 3.”
Voting will also be held on Election Day, with a county-wide polling place at the Jamestown Civic Center and at rural precincts at Pingree, Kensal and Medina. The polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Election Day.
The early voting follows the absentee voting that is already under way.
Bradley said the county has sent out about 1,000 absentee ballots. Those ballots must be postmarked or returned to the auditor’s office no later than 5 p.m. Nov. 5. Absentee ballots cannot be delivered to the polling place or courthouse on Election Day.
Voters headed to the courthouse for early voting or to the polls on Election Day should bring identification with them.
“They could bring a utility bill giving the address of their residence and something that proves their date of birth like a birth certificate,” Bradley said. “But the easiest route is a valid driver’s license or military ID.”
The proper identification will help expedite the voting process. Bradley said he expects a high voter turnout this year.
“There sounds like a lot of interest,” he said. “Some of the state races are anticipated to be close and that always increases the interest.”
That high level of interest has created the possibility of poll challengers, Bradley said. According to the North Dakota Secretary of State’s website, each political party is allowed three poll challengers at each voting place. The poll challenger can “challenge” any person attempting to vote. The voter would then be required to sign an affidavit that he is legally entitled to vote in that precinct.
“We’re told there is a possibility of poll challengers this year,” he said.
The courts may also play a factor in this year’s Election Day activities.
North Dakota’s current law regarding campaigning on Election Day is still in place although it has been challenged in the courts.
A lawsuit filed Tuesday in federal court in Fargo by Gary Emineth, former North Dakota Republican Party chairman, seeks to invalidate the state’s current law prohibiting any sort of campaigning on Election Day. Emineth challenges that the law infringes on the right of free speech.
“We’ll have to see and hopefully this is settled by Election Day,” Bradley said. “But right now all campaign signs and banners must be removed before midnight of the day before the election.”
Sun reporter Keith Norman can be reached at 701-952-8452 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org