North Dakota election changes opposed by state’s top election official

February 26, 2024

BISMARCK, N.D. – North Dakota’s top election official says a citizen-led effort to change election rules “does nothing to secure our election; it does the exact opposite.”

Secretary of State Michael Howe was referring to a proposed initiated measure that requires hand-counting of paper ballots, eliminates early voting by mail and allows any U.S. citizen to examine the ballots after the election.

“People of North Dakota have every right to petition for whatever they want, and I think that’s a good process, but I fail to see what’s wrong about our election process here and need a complete overhaul like the one they have proposed,” Howe said.

Highlights of the proposed election reform measure include:

–Ballots must be counted by hand.

–o early voting or voting by mail, except for absentee ballots.

–All precincts would need to be open on Election Day.

–o drop-boxes for ballots.

–Any U.S. citizen could request to audit the ballots.

–Ranked-choice voting would be prohibited.

Supporters of what they are calling the Election Integrity Act are gathering signatures on petitions to get the measure on the November general election ballot.

The sponsoring committee needs to submit at least 31,164 signatures by July 8th to the Secretary of State’s Office.