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Proper North Dakota ID needed for primary vote

North Dakota Primary Voting

FARGO – If you don’t want to be turned away at the polls at the June primary, make sure your North Dakota ID is up to snuff.

New state voting rules require a valid state license or ID to vote. Voters no longer can use a utility bill or voter’s affidavit to establish residency before voting, said Cass County Auditor Michael Montplaisir.

A handful of voters were turned away from the polls earlier this year during a Fargo School District special election, although some of them were able to make a trip to the Department of Transportation service center and get a new license in time to vote, Montplaisir said.

“The important thing to stress is that, just like anything else, you’ve got to make some plans and make sure you’ve got the proper documentation to do things,” he said. “And yeah, if you’ve moved in the last couple of years and you haven’t updated your license, you need to update it.”

The election is June 10. Early voting is from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. June 2-6 at the Doublewood Inn and Hilton Garden Inn in Fargo. A third location opens at the Days Inn in Casselton from June 4-6.

About 126 absentee ballots are in so far, which is low, but with a contentious mayor’s race leading the ticket this year, county officials expect a turnout similar to the 2012 primary when 33,563 voted, the largest turnout for a primary election since at least 1990, according to county records.

“It’s really hard to predict,” said DeAnn Buckhouse, the county’s election coordinator. “It doesn’t necessarily mean because there’s a mayor’s race it’s going to be higher.”

Acceptable IDs

If you’ve got a North Dakota driver’s or non-driver’s identification card with your current address, you’re set and ready to vote.

Other acceptable forms of identification include: a tribal government-issued identification card, a student identification certificate or a long-term care identification certificate.

No matter what kind of ID, it must show your current residential voting address unless you updated your address online with the Department of Transportation before May 10, Montplaisir said.

Student identification certificates can be used for either absentee voting or in-person voting and may be obtained through your North Dakota college or university.

The long-term care identification certificate can be obtained from your long-term care facility. Both of these must be printed and included with your absentee application or turned in at the polling location.

If your ID does not have your current address, you’ll need to contact the DOT or visit the service center at 503 38th St. S. in Fargo. There is a service fee to issue a new license.

It is too late to update an address online, Buckhouse said. Any online changes made now won’t make it into the system in time for the election, she said.

Buckhouse cautioned voters to be prepared. Some polling locations have changed this year, she said.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Erik Burgess at (701) 241-5518