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102518-nws-early-voting-starts

Early voting for the Nov. 6 election opened in Bismarck and Burleigh County last week as the voting at the precinct in the City/County Building was steady all day. Early voters can also vote at the precinct in the Morton County Courthouse. Both early voting precincts are open on weekdays through Monday. 

Absentee and vote-by-mail ballots in the state already have surpassed the total of those 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 4 p.m. Thursday, absentee and vote-by-mail ballots totaled 76,713. In addition, 14,912 voters had cast their ballots in early voting at the polls. In 2014, the absentee and vote-by-mail ballots for the general election totaled 65,178. That year, there was a total of 255,128 votes cast, representing 46 percent of the state's eligible voters.

In comparison to 2016, a presidential election year which tends to draw more voters, the gap is closing. The 2016 absentee and vote-by-mail ballots totaled 83,653. That year, there were a total of 349,945 votes cast, representing 61 percent of the state's eligible voters.

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In Burleigh County, 8,195 absentee and vote-by-mail ballots have been returned so far. In addition, 4,885 residents have participated in early voting.

In Morton County, 2,407 absentee and vote-by-mail ballots have been returned so far. In addition, 1,739 residents have participated in early voting.

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