ND Sec. of State Says No Way to Immediately Detect if Some Unqualified Voters Try to Cast Mail-in Ballot; ‘Hopefully, Non-Citizens Would Know That They Cannot Vote’

As Patriots' Day proponent Jim Shaw looks on, North Dakota Secretary of State Al Jaeger, right, and Gov. Doug Burgum sign off on a proclamation declaring it Patriots' Day in North Dakota Monday, April 15, 2019. John Hageman / Forum News Service

MINOT, N.D. — Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the state of North Dakota will be conducting this June’s primary election entirely by mail-in ballot.

This isn’t much of a change from the regular operating business for the state. Voters have, in the past, been able to request a mail-in absentee ballot without needing to justify it. Also, 33 North Dakota counties were already operating this way.

This time around, for the upcoming statewide balloting, the Secretary of State’s office did a mass-mailing of these applications, and the list used for the mailing has some people scratching their heads.

“Just got our mail-in ballots. I also got ballots for folks who haven’t lived here since 2014. As far as I know, they are now in Texas,” Bob, from Minot, emailed me this week.

Another reader, Curtis, noted that non-citizens have been receiving applications.

“Application letters being received at addresses where the recipient has not lived for many years or addressed to people who have been dead for many years,” he wrote. “Recipients who are South African ag workers. Recipients who are not U.S. citizens and have never voted. I personally know people who fit into each of those categories, so it must be going on all over the state.”

I’ve had some personal experience with this as well. At my address, I received a ballot application for my niece, who is currently a resident of Washington state and hasn’t lived in North Dakota for at least a decade.

I asked Secretary of State Al Jaeger what was going on.

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Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and host of the Plain Talk Podcast which you can subscribe to by clicking here.

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