North Dakota
North Dakota
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Grade TL;DR

North Dakota is a state where the Legislature meets biennially. In 2021, the Legislature met and passed a mixed bag of voting legislation — we saw a few pro-voter initiatives passed involving pre-processing ballots, establishing notice and cure provisions, and expanding acceptable voter ID documents. However, the Legislature also passed some anti-voter measures, including creating criminal penalties for accepting private funds for election administration and putting limits on mailing absentee ballots. In reviewing all legislation passed, the anti-voter measures slightly outweigh the pro-voter measures passed in 2021, which is why North Dakota received a B- on this year’s progress report.

Looking Back

Where North Dakota Started in 2020

  • Automatic Voter Registration: N/A
  • Online Voter Registration: N/A
  • Same-Day Registration: N/A
  • Restoration of Rights: Prison Disenfranchisement
  • Vote by Mail: No-Excuse
  • Electronic Registration Information Center Member: No
  • Early Voting Opportunities: Regular Ballot Early Voting
  • ID Requirements: Strict Non-Photo ID

Relying on the Cost of Voting Index for North Dakota as of 2020, we considered the state a top tier state for pre-existing voting policy and compared its 2021-22 activity against other top tier states.

How Our Tier Compares:

  • COVI (2020): 8th
  • EPI Score (2020): 5th
  • CLC State Scorecard (2022): 7/10
  • MAP Democracy Rating (2022): FAIR

2021: Two Years Ago

Legislative Action

Aside from limiting election officials’ funding opportunities, the North Dakota Legislature passed mostly pro-voter reforms that increase voter access and provide election officials with guidance and flexibility to more easily administer elections in 2021.

  • S 2142 allows local election officials to begin pre-processing absentee ballots three days before the election.
  • H 1256 prohibits election officials from accepting private funds for election operations or administration.
  • H 1253 establishes notice and cure provisions to allow voters to correct mismatched signatures on mail ballots, creates criminal penalties for accepting private funds for election administration, and limits mailing unsolicited absentee ballot applications to active and new voters, among other things.
  • H 1447 revises the list of acceptable voter identification to include student photo IDs and certain documents provided by higher education institutions.

2022: This Past Year

Legislative Action

The North Dakota Legislature meets biennially during odd-numbered years, therefore they did not meet in 2022.