CLC, LWVND Fight Back Against Attack on North Dakota Voters

A gavel lies on top of a mail voting envelope on top of an American flag

In our democracy every voice must be heard, and that means we must count every vote.    

Today, Campaign Legal Center (CLC) joined the League of Women Voters of North Dakota (LWVND) in fighting back against an attack on North Dakotans’ freedom to vote. 

Last month, the Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) filed a lawsuit on behalf of the Burleigh County Auditor to prevent North Dakota election officials from counting mail-in ballots that are mailed before, but received after, Election Day.  

LWVND, represented by CLC, filed a motion to intervene today in that suit on behalf of North Dakota voters who would be denied a voice in our democracy if their ballots were rejected for something as arbitrary as a postal delay. 

Under current North Dakota law, otherwise valid mail-in ballots postmarked up to the day before Election Day must be counted as long as they are received prior to the vote canvassing deadline, 13 days after Election Day.  

North Dakota is just one of many states that set standard deadlines for mailing ballots. Standard deadlines like North Dakota’s ensure that voters have a clear understanding of when they must mail their ballot and are not subject to uncertainty and arbitrary disenfranchisement based on the reliability of their mail service. 

There is nothing out of the ordinary about North Dakota’s mail-in ballot process. Across the country, millions of voters spanning the political spectrum use similar systems under similar laws.  

This lawsuit represents a blatant attack on North Dakotans’ freedom to make their voices heard at the ballot box. CLC is honored to join LWVND in defending North Dakota’s common-sense mail-in voting laws.

After all, mail-in voting is a convenient and secure way to vote that allows North Dakotans to make their voices heard on the issues that matter to them and their communities. 

At the end of the day, our democracy works best when every voter can participate. CLC and the League of Women Voters of North Dakota have always fought for every voter to have their voice heard – this motion continues that fight.     

Adam is a Media Associate, Voting Rights and Redistricting at CLC.