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College student voting information

As a college student, you may vote in North Dakota if you are:

  • A U.S. citizen;
  • At least 18 years old;
  • A resident of North Dakota;
  • A resident in your precinct for 30 days immediately preceding the election; and
  • Able to provide a current North Dakota driver’s license, non-driver ID, or tribal ID that includes your current residential address and date of birth; or you complete a Voter’s Affidavit on which you attest to your qualifications as a voter.

If you meet these qualifications, you are permitted to vote in the precinct associated with the residential address of your ID or that you provide on the Voter’s Affidavit.


Where to Vote as a Student

  1. Voting in Your Hometown
    If you attend college in your hometown and still reside at home, you vote in the precinct (voting area) of your residence.

    If you attend school away from your North Dakota residence and you live on or off campus, you may still vote in your hometown elections if your address is still associated to that residence. You can do this either by absentee voting or by voting in person on Election Day at your hometown precinct polling location.

  2. Voting in Your College Town
    You may vote in your college town by updating your identification to reflect the address at which you reside while attending school. You must reside at the address for at least 30 days immediately preceding the election in order to be a resident of the precinct.

  3. Voting Absentee in Your Home State
    If you attend college in North Dakota, but are a resident of another state, contact the state election official in your home state for information about the voter qualifications and procedures for voting absentee in your home state. In most cases, if you vote in an election in North Dakota, your residency will change from your home state to North Dakota. To find out the requirements for voting absentee in your home state, select your state from the list provided at canivote.org. This website is provided by the National Association of Secretaries of State.

    Requirements and eligibility vary by state. Because ballots need to be returned prior to election day, request your absentee ballot as soon as possible.

No Registration
North Dakota is the only state without voter registration.


Voting in N.D.
Precincts (voting areas) in North Dakota maintain a list of voters who have voted in previous elections. When you appear in a polling location to vote, you will be asked to provide an acceptable form of identification (North Dakota driver’s license, non-driver ID, or tribal ID) and the poll worker will then attempt to locate your name on the voting list. If your name is on the list, your contact information will be verified and you will be allowed to vote. If your name is not found on the list, you will be allowed to vote after completing a Voter’s Affidavit. N.D. residents may find voting information (including where to vote and absentee ballot information) at vote.nd.gov.


Voting Absentee in N.D.
If you are a college student who is a North Dakota resident and living away from your permanent residence, you may wish to vote by absentee ballot so that your voice is heard in your home precinct elections. An absentee ballot conveniently allows you to vote either in person at your county auditor’s office before Election Day or by mail, without physically having to go to your polling location on Election Day.

Absentee ballot applications may be completed through the Absentee Ballot Application Wizard (vip.sos.nd.gov/absentee). Election officials of the county, city, or school district may also furnish absentee ballot applications to qualified electors.

Qualified electors are not required to provide a reason for requesting an absent voter’s ballot.

According to North Dakota law, absentee ballots are to be made available by the 40th day before the election. Returned absentee ballots must have an official postmark or date stamp no later than the day before the election.

For more information about voting absentee in N.D., contact your county auditor, (vip.sos.nd.gov/CountyAuditors.aspx) or call the Secretary of State’s office at 800-352-0867, ext. 328-4146.

The above information is reprinted from the website of the North Dakota Secretary of State at vote.nd.gov, and then selecting "information for voters," and "college student voters."

Published: 10/06/16



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