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First day of absentee ballots

(KFYR)
Published: Sep. 24, 2020 at 4:12 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - Thursday is the first day absentee ballots are available for North Dakota voters.

And while constituents decide who to vote for or even how to vote, election officials are trying to iron out the problems that cropped up during the primary.

The 2020 Primary was a mail-only election, and on the day of the primary, there were more than 40,000 unreturned ballots.

But with the general election bringing the return of in-person voting, there’s the possibility some people will request ballots, but then vote in person.

Polling places will be utilizing new voting machines that they hope will avoid double-voting.

Secretary of State Al Jaeger said he was surprised by the high number of unreturned ballots from the primary, but says he doesn’t think it’ll happen at that rate again in November.

“I would suspect that November’s election is going to be a little bit different with the fact that it’s a presidential election. So I would suspect that if you’ve requested a ballot, our percentage is probably going to be higher,” Jaeger said.

The state also purchased enough pens for anyone who wishes the vote in-person, so that no one needs to share in the booths.

Meanwhile, many precincts are anticipating a shortage of poll workers. Many polling places were shut down before the primary specifically to avoid the risk of election workers catching COVID-19.

According to the secretary of state, every county will have a polling location, but more than 168,000 ballots have already been requested. Applications for an absentee ballots are still open and vote.nd.gov.

Copyright 2020 KFYR. All rights reserved.

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