For the Bowman County residents interested in mail or drop box voting, the election has already started.

It will continue until Nov. 3 when the polls close at 7 p.m. – for in person voters only.

According to the Bowman County auditor, there are things the voters need to remember.

The mail in and drop box voters have an earlier deadline. Mailed ballots must have a Nov. 2 postmark.

There is a drop box for the early voters located in the atrium of the county building and it is open 24 hours a day until it closes on the evening before election day. It will close Nov. 2 at 5 p.m.

Sandi Tivis said the voters need to follow the instructions precisely and make sure they have filled the ballot out completely. Then the voters need to insert the folded ballot into the manila-colored secrecy envelope and place it inside the white voter affidavit envelope with their signature and date on it. Then the affidavit envelope must be sealed. If mailed, the affidavit envelope goes inside the white mailing envelope with the auditor’s address on it. The mailing envelope needs to have a stamp on it.

In order to vote absentee, the person can complete an absentee ballot online.

“We have to receive a signed request for an absentee ballot. Then we send them a ballot that goes in the secrecy envelope.”

The outer affidavit envelope must be signed with the notification that under penalty of possible criminal prosecution for making a false statement, the voter swears to be a U.S. citizen, a resident of the state and have resided in the precinct for at least 30 days before the election. In addition, it stipulates to be the only ballot to be cast during the election.

“When we get it (the ballot) in our office, we pair it up with the ballot application which was signed. We clip them together and then on election day, we have an absentee board that meets. They compare the signatures. If there is any discrepancy whatsoever, they are set aside. The day after the election, my office reviews it and sends letters to those individuals that have a discrepancy on their signature. They have until Monday (Nov. 9) at 10 a.m. to contact my office to verify the signature,” the county auditor explained.

“If we hear that it is okay, then it goes to the county canvassing board and it is processed. If we don’t hear from the voter, the ballot is not counted,” she said.

“That is the precautions we take in our state to eliminate voter fraud,” Tivis added.

The state has received notice that it is one of the best states in the nation in how the elections are run, she explained. Citing a letter from the secretary of state, she said that the election performance index used to evaluate was ranked number 1 by M.I.T. in 2018. The state was also ranked the best in 2008, 2010, 2012 and 2014, the letter from Secretary of State Al Jaeger stated.

Ballot choices

For the Nov. 3 election, voters will have some choices to make at the federal level – president and congressional representative.

In addition, the choices for president each have a trio of presidential electors.

At the state level, the voters will chose their next governor and lieutenant governor from three choices – including the incumbents (Gov. Doug Burgum and Lt. Gov. Brent Sanford) and challengers Shelley Lenz-Ben Vig (Democrat-NPL) and DuWayne Hendrickson and Joshua Voytek of the Libertarian Party.

For state auditor, voters will have a choice between Republican Joshua Gallion and Pat Hart of the Democratic-NPL party.

The Democratic-NPL Party’s Mark Haugen will be vying with Republican Thomas Beadle for the state treasurer position, while Republican Jon Godfread in the only person on the ballot for Public Service Commissioner.Casey Buchman (D-NPL) is battling with Brian Kroshus (R) for the Public Service Commission seat.

Voters will also be making a choice between Brandt Dick and incumbent Kirsten Baesler for the Superintendent of Public Instruction for the state.

There is one name, Jon Jay Jensen, on the ballot for the one position as Justice for the Supreme Court.

Bowman County

At the county level, the voters will have three choices for three seats as county commissioners (Rick Braaten, Jerry Jeffers and Pine Abrahamson), with an opening also for supervisor of the Bowman/Slope Conservation District.

State-wide measures

On the reverse side of the ballot, there are two constitutional measures. One is to change the number of members of the state board of education from eight to 15.

The second measure covers that a constitutional amendment can be proposed by an initiative petition.

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