What College Students Need to Know About Voting
2016 Voting Information for
Residents of North Dakota
College students can vote in North Dakota in one (but only one) of three ways
1. Vote by absentee ballot in their permanent home district
If a student chooses to vote in their permanent home district, they will have to make arrangements to receive an absentee ballot ahead of Election Day. North Dakota voters can fill out their application online. The application then needs to be signed and returned to their county auditor of residence. The absentee ballot process requires several steps and can take up to 2 weeks, so students choosing this option should request their absentee ballot before October 24, 2016.
2. Vote at the polling station associated to their college or university residential address, with a valid ID containing that address.
If a student wants to vote at a polling station at their school address, they can present valid identification that includes name, current residential street address within the voting district, and date of birth. Valid IDs are a ND driver's license, non-drivers ID, and tribal ID. Student IDs do not have an address and thus are not valid for this purpose. The ID must have an address within the district where the student is trying to vote
3. Vote at the polling station associated to their college or university address, by using a sworn affidavit.
If a student wants to vote at a polling station at their school address, but cannot present valid identification with that address, they can still vote by swearing a Voter's Affidavit. The student must still present a valid ID (name, address and date of birth), but by signing the affidavit, they swear that they have a new address, and have lived in the district where they wish to vote for 30 days. Students should exercise care in choosing this option. If a student has a scholarship that is tied to the student's residency, signing that affidavit might jeopardize that scholarship.
2016 Voting Information for
Residents of Other States
For all students who originate from a different state and wish to vote in that home state, click here for information: http://www.canivote.org/
This is my first time voting. What do I do? How does this work?
If you are a North Dakota resident, you do not need to register prior to the election; you can go to the polling station associated to your college or university address on Election Day with proper identification or make arrangements for an absentee ballot roughly two weeks or more prior to Election Day.
If you are not a North Dakota resident, you need to check with your state's voting requirements, which you can find here: http://www.canivote.org/
You should do your best to educate yourself on the issues, candidates, ballot measures, and whatever else will appear on the ballot. Not sure what will be decided this election and you plan to vote in North Dakota? Check out a sample ballot here by entering your information.
What is required for a valid ID?
Identification must include the voter's:
• Current residential street address
• Date of birth
Valid Forms of Identification:
Voting in-person requires a North Dakota:
• Current driver's license or non-driver's identification card
• Tribal government issued identification
• Long-term care certificate (provided by ND facility)
• Voter's Affidavit
Voting absentee or by mail requires a:
• North Dakota form of identification listed above
• Military ID - Only for uniformed service or family member stationed away from North Dakota residence.
• Passport - Only for North Dakota residents outside the United States.
• Attester - An applicant who does not possess or cannot secure an approved form of identification due to a disability with which the individual lives and which prevents the individual from traveling to obtain one may use an attester. The attester must provide his or her name, North Dakota driver's license, non-driver's, or tribal identification number, and sign the absentee/mail ballot application form to attest to the applicant's North Dakota residency and voting eligibility.
• Voter's Affidavit
What if my address is not correct on my ID?
Update your residential address, if necessary, with your ID provider no later than 30 days before an election.
You have 4 options for making an address change:
1) You can update your address online using the North Dakota Department of Transportation (DOT) Address Change Utility. This is free of charge.
2) Call DOT at 328-4353. This is free of charge.
3) You can go to a DOT Driver's License Site and have them update your record in their database. This is free of charge.
4) You can go to a DOT Driver's License Site and get a new driver's license/non-driver's identification card with your new address. Please note that you will be charged $3 to have your card replaced.
Any of the options you select above will cause DOT to send that information to the Secretary of State (SOS) and the SOS's office will update your record in the Central Voter File. Updating at least a week before the election will ensure that your name and address will then be included in the poll book at your new polling location, which will make your check-in process at the Election Clerk's table quick and easy!
If none of these options are possible for you, you can show up at the polling station and request a Voter's Affidavit to prove your address.
How do I prove I have lived on campus or in the town my school is located for 30 days when my ID has a different address on it?
You complete and sign a Voter's Affidavit at the polling station. You do not need any documentation from your institution.
What happens if I vote at school instead of at my permanent home district?
There could be consequences to your residency status and if you have any scholarships that are tied to your residency. Check with your Financial Aid office to be sure that you would not be jeopardizing any of your financial aid awards.
What should I do? Vote at school or vote absentee in my "home" district?
You have to choose where you are a resident! Be mindful that you might be more aware of certain issues or races in your home district than you are at your school's district, or vice versa. Vote where you consider yourself a resident and where you can make the most educated decisions as a voter. Also, educate yourself on the candidates, ballot measures, local races, and everything else that will appear on your ballot! If you want to view what your ballot will look like prior to the election, click here.
I have more questions! Where can I go for information?
The North Dakota Secretary of State's website is the go-to spot for all voting information. If you are not from North Dakota, check with your state's Secretary of State office or other voting officials.