Choose The Voting Method That Works Best For You

By Jacqueline Hayward-Spegal

FBCE – Finance Officer

Election day is coming quickly and there are many options for voting this year. For county, state, and federal voting options you can send your vote by USPS mail, use a ballot drop box, or a polling station. Lee Ann Oliver, with the North Dakota Secretary of State, assisted us with a breakdown of how to make your vote count! 40 days before the election, on September 24th, 2020, absentee

ballots will be sent out by the Secretary of State. Once you receive your ballot you will have three options- you may mail it back through the United States Postal Service, you may drop it in your local ballot drop box, or you may go to a polling station and vote in person.

Voting by USPS

When voting by mail your vote must be sent as early as possible to count.

Secretary of State minimum mailing guidelines.

Oliver explained that in order for your vote to count in the 2020 election when mailing your ballot in, it must be postmarked no later than November 2nd, 2020, and received and counted no later than 6 days after election day. Post marking your ballot by the deadline will not ensure that your vote is counted, you should also take into account current USPS delivery times. In the best-case scenario, your vote could be counted but according to the current delivery times, you should mail your vote much sooner.

USPS recommended mailing guidelines.

According to the website, it is recommended that you do not wait until the state’s deadline. “We recommend that domestic, non-military voters mail their completed ballots before Election Day and at least one week prior to your state’s deadline. We also recommend that voters request ballots at the earliest point allowable but no later than 15 days prior to the election date.”

Voting Drop Boxes

Instead of mailing your ballot, you can get it directly to your county auditor by stopping by your county courthouse 24/7 up until 5 pm on November 2nd. Both Mountrail and McKenzie Counties have ballot drop boxes that are easy to access outside of their courthouses. There are additional drop boxes throughout the Ft Berthold Reservation. The North Dakota Secretary of State did not have their list published yet and the Three Affiliated Tribes Tribal Office did not have a list available to me at this time either. MHA Times has compiled a small list, but this may not be a fully comprehensive list.

The ballot drop boxes are checked daily by the county auditor’s office and are immediately set to be counted. As long as your vote is in the day before the election before 5 pm, your vote will be counted without worrying about mail time.

McKenzie County Courthouse (Drop Box)

    201 5th St NW, Watford City, ND 58854

Pct 2 New Town Civic Center Auditorium

    103 Soo Place, New Town, ND 58763

Mountrail County Courthouse

    101 N Main St, Stanley, ND 58784 

Parshall City Hall

    23 N Main St, Parshall, ND 58770 

Polling Stations

Polling stations will be open at a minimum from 8 am-7 pm on election day for in person voting. Each county may have their polling stations open from 5-15 days earlier to allow voters to social distance while voting. As of now, there is no additional time listed on the North Dakota Secretary of State website for most polling stations- this is expected to be updated at a later date. As the full list of polling stations has not been published as of yet, I have included a non-comprehensive list of local polling stations below. To find additional information on voting please visit Vote.ND.Gov you can enter your information and get the closest ballot boxes and polling stations to you.

Mandaree Community Center

    212 Ridge Road, Mandaree, ND 58757

Pct 2 New Town Civic Center Auditorium

    103 Soo Place, New Town, ND 58763