Less than a fifth of North Dakotans who marked a “set aside” ballot during last week’s midterm election followed up with a valid identification and had their vote counted, a state election official said Friday, Nov. 16. Under state law, voters who don’t have sufficient identification on Election Day may mark a ballot that’s separated from the rest. If a voter returns with an adequate ID within six days, the ballot would be included in the tally. The new procedure was introduced in the latest iteration of North Dakota’s voter ID law, which passed the Republican-controlled Legislature and was signed by Gov. Doug Burgum in 2017. Across the state, 1,110 voters marked a set aside ballot, Deputy Secretary of State Jim Silrum said. Only 141 of them, or 13 percent, returned to verify their ID, but several counties had not yet reported their figures to state officials by 8 a.m. Friday. At most, 219 people returned to verify their ID.
In Cass County, only 13 out of 495 people who marked a set aside ballot followed up with their ID, a rate of less than 3 percent. Cass County Auditor Michael Montplaisir said most people who filled out a set aside ballot had out-of-state IDs.
“In the Legislature’s mind, are those people residents of North Dakota or are they just here temporarily and going back somewhere else?” he said.