It is a big night for some key races here in the Valley and across the state of North Dakota. The Cass county Auditor’s office says they’re on track to exceed voter turnout compared to the 2010 primaries, when presidential nominees were not on the ballot. As of 4:00 p.m. they say 8,553 votes have come in. If you factor in early voting and absentee ballots, and that number is 12,348. Despite the turnout, there have been several issues at the polls with computers, ballots and with voter identification. At Bethel Church in south Fargo, space was an issue for voters. The location was forced to use a smaller room because of scheduling conflicts with the election and summer bible school. Some voters say it was hard to vote in the smaller room. “It would be nice if we had a larger room to go to,” explains voter Donna Bladholm. “Especially for the people in wheel chairs, it is difficult to get around,” she says. Another voter called Valley News Live with the same issue, saying older voters using walkers had a hard time voting because, at times, there wasn’t enough space to sit down.
Overcrowding at the one location was just one of the issues the county was having. When polling locations opened on Tuesday morning, Cass County Auditor Michael Montplaisir said the E-poll books were having issues syncing up. Registration was a bit slow, but that issue was resolved quickly.
This is the first statewide election since the new voter ID law was passed. Poll workers say some voters were not coming in with updated IDs and they also encountered some not going to the right polling location.
In Kindred, a handful of voters were upset when they learned City ballots were not placed out with the primary ballot when the polls opened.
“It was an oversight the second ballot got overlooked and not put out right away so we noticed the error corrected it and we had four people go through that didn’t have the right ballot,” says county election worker Alicia Nipstae.