During a special meeting Monday morning, the Williams County Commissioners voted unanimously to authorize the use of Vote by Mail for the June election as a measure to reduce the public’s risk of exposure to COVID-19.
Governor Doug Burgum signed an Executive Order on March 26 strongly encouraging counties to use Vote by Mail for the June 9th election.
Vote by Mail means voters can only vote via absentee ballot for the election. Voters will be able to deposit their ballot into a secure mail ballot dropbox location or they can return the ballot to the County Auditor’s Office by mail. An option for assisted voting will also be provided.
For counties that choose to use Vote By Mail, the requirement to host at least one physical polling location in the county has been suspended by the governor’s order. The order also allows county election boards to open and process mail ballots no earlier than five business days before the election, instead of only on the day before and the day of the election.
Ballots cannot be counted until 7 pm on election day.
The Secretary of State’s Office will be mailing absentee applications to all active and nonactive voters in the North Dakota Central Voter File, along with postage-paid return envelopes. Counties will remain responsible for mailing the ballot to voters and processing them once they are returned.
More information about the location of the secure mail ballot dropbox and the ExpressVote assistive voting device will be available on the Williams County website closer to the election date.