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ND Democrats prepare for next week’s caucus

Published: Mar. 3, 2020 at 2:41 PM CST
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Super Tuesday is upon us. Fourteen States will vote and more than 1,300 delegates will be assigned to presidential candidates.

With the field narrowing, North Dakota is preparing for its Presidential Caucus in just one week.

Next Tuesday, 14 polling locations will be open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. CST, and Democrats will have 12 candidates to choose from. However, only five of them are still in the race.

In an attempt to increase caucus turnout, this is the first year state Democrats are using mail-in ballots. And their new voting process is already showing increased participation.

"More involvement that we have is showing an interest in what's going on in our country. And rather than seeing a decrease in the number in caucus voters, an increase is always a positive,” said Sen. Joan Heckaman, D-New Rockford.

The party said they've already had more than 3,100 ballots requested. Only a few hundred short of the entire 2016 turnout. While some could say this will decrease in-person voters, others argue the entire pool of voters has grown.

Alex: "I don't think it's an indication that a majority of people are voting by mail. I think it's an indication that people are voting because it's more accessible and they're excited about this election,” ND Democrats-NPL Communications Director Alex Rohr said.

A month ago, Iowa kicked off the delegate race with a faulty app and inconsistent results. North Dakota won't be using any apps, and will be voting the old-fashioned way.

"Vendor employees or volunteers will be delivering ballots in a lockbox, a secure lockbox to tabulation centers in Bismarck and Fargo, and that's where they'll be counted using electronic polling machines,” Rohr said.

Despite the delivery time, the party said they hope to have 95 percent of the vote counted by 11 p.m. that night.

Even if a candidate that's no longer running wins enough votes to earn one of the state's 14 delegates, they are still given those delegates.

Anyone who requested a mail-in ballot must have their ballot postmarked by this Thursday to be counted. If a mail-in ballot isn't mailed by then, hold onto it and it can be exchanged for an in-person ballot at your polling station. Polling locations can be found in the link below.