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Published February 23 2012

New North Dakota absentee ballot system should ease process

BISMARCK – A new absentee ballot system will make voting easier for deployed North Dakota service members and other residents living outside of the state.

The new system through the secretary of state’s website will ensure these voters of an expedited application and timely delivery, return and counting of their ballots, Secretary of State Al Jaeger said.

Residents stationed away from their North Dakota homes can go to http://tinyurl.com/7osfxtl to apply for an absentee ballot.

Once the voter enters some basic information in the system, the data will be compared to the state’s central voter list to help identify the voter. They can choose to receive and return their ballot electronically.

There are safeguards in place to ensure no one votes multiple times, Jaeger said.

Last year, North Dakota became the second state in the nation – after Utah – to pass the Uniform Military and Overseas Voters Act. Since then, the state has worked to create the new system and asked military members to help test it.

Jaeger also announced other election-related improvements this week. The state’s new election site is at www.nd.gov/sos/electvote.

The website includes portals for voter information, ballot measures and election results. The results of all statewide elections back to statehood are now available online, Jaeger said.

Finneman is a multimedia reporter for Forum Communications Co.