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State Canvassing Board certifies North Dakota November election results; 1 recount remains

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Members of the state canvassing board, from left, Democratic-NPL Party Chairman Patrick Hart, State Treasurer Thomas Beadle, Secretary of State Al Jaeger, state Supreme Court Clerk Petra Mandigo Hulm, and North Dakota Republican Party Chairman Perrie Schafer on Wednesday certify the results of the Nov. 8 general election.

North Dakota's State Canvassing Board on Wednesday certified the results of the November general election. No outcomes changed, though a state House district recount will play out. 

The five-member board unanimously certified results from all 53 counties, including state, congressional, legislative and judicial races and two statewide ballot measures. 

The Grand Forks-area District 43 House race will see an automatic recount on Tuesday, meaning the board will meet again, on Dec. 1. Three votes separate Democratic Reps. Zac Ista and Mary Adams.

State lawmakers take office Dec. 1. The Legislature's organizational session is Dec. 5-7.

North Dakota voters elected a new secretary of state, former Republican state Rep. Michael Howe, who will succeed retiring incumbent Al Jaeger.

Republicans won all statewide races and 83 of 98 legislative seats on the ballot.

The House races included four seats for new subdistricts, including ones encompassing the Fort Berthold and Turtle Mountain Indian reservations. They were created due to redistricting following the 2020 census.

Top redistricting lawmakers said the subdistricts meet population criteria of the federal Voting Rights Act. Proponents said the subdistricts will give Native American communities better chances to elect their own members to the Legislature. But the subdistricts have sparked two lawsuits over the new lines. The legal battles won't be resolved soon. 

Forty-one of 141 lawmakers will be new, though the new members include a handful who have previously served. Three of four legislative leaders also are new. Many of the departures are of high-profile members who chose to retire, were defeated for reelection or lost a seat due to redistricting. 

Republicans will control the Senate 43-4 and the House of Representatives 82-12.

Independent congressional candidate Cara Mund had the best showing of any challenger to a Republican; she won nearly 38% of the statewide vote.

Voters also approved of term limits for the governor and state lawmakers, and rejected legalizing recreational marijuana. 

Turnout of eligible voters was nearly 43%, the lowest in more than 40 years.

Nearly 44% of ballots statewide were cast by absentee, mail-in or early in-person voting.

State Auditor Josh Gallion last month released findings of a state election system review, concluding "it is exceptionally unlikely that the results of an election in North Dakota would be fraudulently influenced."

Reach Jack Dura at 701-250-8225 or jack.dura@bismarcktribune.com.

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