Attention Medora residents: By the time you read this article, you will have less than 12 hours to be eligible to vote for city elections. Medora is the only city in North Dakota that requires its residents to register. If they don’t register, they don’t vote — no way around it. Voter hopefuls must fill out a form, get it notarized and hand it in to the Medora City Auditor’s Office by 5 p.m. today to register to vote for city elections, according to a public notice from the city auditor. Voter registration in Medora was adopted in the early 1990s due to seasonal workers voting in the June elections, Mayor Doug Ellison said. “It’s up to the municipality to initiate (voter registration) or not, but Medora decided to do it back then just to avoid a repetition of this disputed election,” he said.
North Dakota is the only state in the U.S. that doesn’t require residents to register to vote, but cities may require voter registration for municipal elections, said Al Jaeger, North Dakota secretary of state. Voters must prove they are a U.S. citizen and be at least 18 years old on the day of election to vote in North Dakota. They must also live in the state for 30 days. Voting fraud is a Class B misdemeanor and carries a penalty of up to $1,000 and 30 days in jail, according to city ordinance.