After tallying all forms of early voting, including ballots cast at the polls as well as absentee and vote-by-mail ballot, totals reached 144,774 by 3:30 p.m. Monday, according to Secretary of State Al Jaeger.
The totals have surpassed those from 2012 and 2016, both presidential election years in which voter turnout is traditionally higher than in midterm elections. In 2016, the number was 134,805. In 2012, the number was 136,685.
By Friday, North Dakota voters had surpassed the total of those ballots cast in the 2014 mid-term election — a harbinger of the high interest in this year's political process which seems to be motivating voters to the polls.
As of 5 p.m. Monday, absentee and vote-by-mail ballots totaled 92,415, according to the secretary of state's website, which did not include vote totals from Cass and Stark counties.
In Burleigh County, 9,544 absentee and vote-by-mail ballots have been returned so far. In addition, 7,507 residents had participated in early voting at the polls.
In Morton County, 3,166 absentee and vote-by-mail ballots have been returned so far. In addition, 3,150 residents had participated in early voting at the polls.