North Dakota Resources for Voters with Disabilities

What are my rights as a voter with a disability in North Dakota?

North Dakota, you have the right to the following as protected by federal law. Election staff must respect these rights:

  • Accessible voter registration
  • Accessible polling places
  • Policies and procedures that do not discriminate against you based on your disability
  • Accessible, available, and operational voting systems, features
  • Your service animal to accompany you inside the polling place
  • The right to vote privately and independently or with assistance, if needed
  • Assistance from a person of choice, who can be a friend, family member, or poll worker (but not your boss, union agent, or a candidate unless this person is your family member)
  • Election Staff trained to understand the rights above.
Who can register to vote?

To register in North Dakota, you must be: 

  • A citizen of the United States of America
  • At least 17 and will be turning 18 on or before Election Day 
  • A resident of the city or county for at least 30 days
  • If you are a student, unhoused, a survivor of intimate partner violence with related concerns, or living with a mental or physical impairment, you may still register and vote
  • Not currently incarcerated for a felony conviction. In North Dakota, you are eligible to vote even while on parole or probation.

In North Dakota, you may not register or vote if:

  • Your right to vote was specifically removed by a court order, unless your right has been restored 
  • Are currently incarcerated for a felony conviction  
  • You claim the right to vote elsewhere
What are my rights when registering to vote?

Federal law requires assistance in registering to vote from offices that provide public assistance or state-funded programs serving people with disabilities. Responsibilities include:

  • Providing voter registration forms
  • Assisting voters in completing the forms
  • Transmitting completed forms to the appropriate election official
  • All aspects of voter registration must be accessible
What are the different ways to vote in North Dakota?
  • In person on Election Day
  • Absentee 
  • Early Voting
  • While abroad as a citizen or military through an absentee ballot request
  • Provisional ballot at a polling place
What are the ways to request an Absentee Ballot in North Dakota?
  • Any registered voter may request an absentee ballot. You can return your ballot by mail or secure drop box.
     
  • The Application is available in English on our website with a step-by-step process.
How is the North Dakota mail-in or absentee ballot process made accessible for voters with print disabilities?
  • You can have someone help you as you fill out your paper mail-in ballot. They might need to sign an affidavit.
     
  • Your helper can not be your employer, labor union official, or a candidate (or a candidate’s relative) who is on the ballot.
     
  • When you request a mail-in ballot if you do not have an ID due to your disability you can have some attest to your identity with their ID.
What accommodations are available for voters with disabilities at polling locations in North Dakota?

Federal law requires polling places to meet minimum compliance standards for individuals with special needs. 

  • Your service animal may accompany you inside the polling place
  • You have a right to vote privately and independently or with assistance, if needed
  • You may have assistance from a person of choice, who can be a friend, family member, or poll worker (but not your boss, union agent, or a candidate unless this person is your family member).

For assistance or more information on your polling location’s accessibility, please contact your local election official.

What are the rules of assistance for disabled voters in North Dakota?
  • You may request assistance from a poll worker or receive assistance from a person of your choice with the following exceptions:  
    • your employer, an agent of your employer
    • an officer or agent of your union
    • a candidate on the ballot
       
  • A poll worker cannot force you to accept assistance.
How can I prepare to use accessible voting equipment in North Dakota prior to Election Day?
Who do I contact if I have problems when voting in North Dakota?

To file a formal complaint about voting accessibility, fill out the Voting Access Grievance/Complaint Form and mail it to:

 Elections Division
 Secretary of State
 600 East Boulevard Avenue
 Bismarck, ND 58505

  • You must get the form notarized and the complaint must be signed and sworn.
  • You must include your name, address, phone number and any information relevant to your complaint. 
  • Your complaint will be resolved within 90 days unless you agree to a time extension.
  • You can request help with filling out this form by calling 1-800-352-0867 or 1-800-366-6888 TTY (ND Relay).

You can contact The North Dakota Protection & Advocacy Project by mail at:

Wells Fargo Bank Building
400 East Broadway
Suite 409,
Bismarck, ND 58501

By Phone at 701-328-2950/800-472-2670 Toll Free
Or by email at panda@nd.gov.

You can also fill out a Violation of Civil Rights Complaint Form and submit it to the US Department of Justice by one of the following methods:

  • Online, through the form’s submission process - this is the fastest method.
  • By fax at (202) 616-9881. You MUST include “ATTN: Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Complaints" at the top of your fax submission for it to be processed correctly.
  • By mailing your form to: 

                U.S. Department of Justice
                Office of the Inspector General Investigations Division
                ATTN: Civil Rights & Civil Liberties Complaints
                950 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
                Washington, DC 20530

For additional assistance, The National Network of ADA Centers can provide local contact information for other organizations you may wish to contact, including your Regional ADA Center or ADA Knowledge Translation Center, or Federal Agencies and Resources.

Additional Resources