If you thought we still had more than a month – 42 days, specifically – until voting in the June 14 primary starts, think again.
Per a press release from Secretary of State Al Jaeger’s office sent out this afternoon, dozens of North Dakotans have already voted. Later this week voting will be open to all eligible voters.
“As of Monday, over 269 eligible North Dakota military and overseas voters had requested a ballot and 47 of them had already cast their ballot on a secure server in the state’s data center. The first ballot cast by a voter was at approximately 8:30 a.m. on that day,” Jaeger’s press release states.
You can see a full list of the countries were absentee ballots were sent below. It’s actually pretty cool.
Starting on Thursday, May 5, all North Dakotans who are eligible to vote can request an absentee ballot. You can find more information on that here.
The hot race on the June ballot is, of course, the NDGOP’s gubernatorial primary between Wayne Stenehjem, Doug Burgum, and Paul Sorum. You’ve got to think that early voting is probably most beneficial to Stenehjem. Burgum started this race way behind Stenehjem in terms of popularity and name identification, and the shorter the timeline the less time he has to make that deficit up.
Also on the June ballot will be a referendum on a partial roll back of North Dakota’s ban on corporate farming passed by lawmakers last year. The North Dakota Farmer’s Union organized the referendum, though it seems like a waste of time to me.
Prior to the Legislature acting North Dakota banned ownership of farms by anyone but blood related relatives. What the Legislature passed allows for non-family corporations to own swine and dairy farms below certain size restrictions.
The Farmer’s Union wants to keep agriculture mired in the past, but I think the change is inevitable. Even if voters overturn the law the Legislature passed our state’s existing corporate farming ban will likely be challenged in the courts where it will probably be struck down like corporate farming bans in other states.
Because this is America, and however you might feel about corporate farming, the government shouldn’t be allowed to tell people who aren’t related that they can’t pool their capital and farm together.