Voter Registration in North Dakota
North Dakota bears the unique distinction that it does not require voters to register prior to Election Day. You may simply bring acceptable proof of ID and residency to the polls in order to vote (see below). Each precinct is responsible for governing its own election process, and the Secretary of State has a "central voter file" in which all county auditors share their precinct's voter list.
Voter Eligibility in North Dakota
In order to vote in North Dakota, you must be:
- At least 18 years old on or before Election Day.
- A North Dakota resident.
- A resident of your voter precinct for at least 30 days prior to the election.
When you arrive at the polls on Election Day, you'll need to show proof of birth date and residency. This can include:
- A North Dakota driver's license or ID card.
- An ID issued by a tribal government.
- A form of identification issued by the Secretary of State.
- A combination of the options above.
Once you have voted for the first time, your name will be entered into the state's central voter file within 45 days after the election.
Military, Overseas, and Absentee Voters
If you are in the military and stationed outside of North Dakota, a dependent of military personnel, a U.S. citizen who lives overseas, or will be out of state (ex. college student) you can complete an absentee ballot application online or by mail.
To complete the application online, simply log onto the North Dakota Secretary of State (SOS) website.
You will need to enter:
- Your name.
- Your ND address.
- Your mailing address.
Online applications will automatically be sent to your county auditor.
Alternatively, you can mail the Absentee/Mail Ballot Application (Form SFN 51468) by mail to your county auditor's office. Military and overseas residents can also utilize the Federal Voting Assistance Program to register while overseas.
The ND SOS office provides more information and resources for overseas and absentee voters.
Name or Address Change
If you change your name or address, be sure to update your ND driver's license or ID card so that your polling place has the correct information.
You can change your name or address with the North Dakota Department of Transportation (DOT):
- In person.
Completing the name or address change will update all information in the Central Voter File because DOT will send your updated information to the Secretary of State.
Voter ID Laws
You will need to show identification when voting. Examples of acceptable forms of ID include:
- Driver's license.
- Non-driver's identification card.
- Long term care identification certificate.
- Tribal identification card.
The ND SOS website provides a complete list of accepted forms of ID.
For more information about getting a ND driver's license, see our page Applying or a New License in North Dakota. If you are interested in getting a non-driver ID card, see Identification Cards in North Dakota for details.
Additional Voter Registration Resources
For more voting information, you can visit the North Dakota's Secretary of State website or contact them by:
- Toll-free: (800) 352-0867
- TTY: (800) 366-6888
- Fax: (701) 328-2992
- E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.