House passes ’30 Minutes to Vote’ bill; goes to Senate

House passes ’30 Minutes to Vote’ bill; goes to Senate

BISMARCK, N.D. – North Dakota lawmakers are reshaping voting laws.

Friday afternoon, the State House passed an 83-page bill changing elements of the election code.

Most of the changes are clerical and inconsequential. However, one section of the bill puts a timer on late night voters in the polls.

If a voter receives their ballot after the polls have closed, that voter has 30 minutes to fill out their ballots and have it counted that night.

If they don’t submit their ballot within the half hour, they may either submit it partially filled, or continue to fill it out and have it counted like an absentee vote later.

To give counties more time to process and count votes, the law also gives county canvassing boards an extra week to submit their results.

“We’re making the best system better by providing each of our constituents even more confidence in our elections,” Rep. Scott Louser, R-Minot, said.

A bill earlier this session only dealt with giving late night voters 30 minutes to vote, but that effort failed as a standalone bill.

The larger election bill passed the House unanimously, but now it has to pass the Senate.

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