State of North Dakota

North Dakota Mail-in Ballot Receipt Deadline Challenge

Splonskowski v. White

Lawsuit filed on behalf of a county elections administrator against North Dakota’s elections director challenging a state law that allows mail-in ballots that are cast and postmarked on or before Election Day to arrive and be counted up to 13 days after Election Day. The plaintiff alleges that by allowing ballots to be counted after Election Day, North Dakota is violating federal law, which requires that Election Day be held on one specific day. In particular, the plaintiff points to federal statutes dictating that federal elections can only occur on “the Tuesday after the first Monday in November.” Despite the fact that mail-in ballots that are lawfully cast on or before Election Day often arrive after Election Day, the plaintiff contends that North Dakota is unlawfully extending Election Day by counting ballots received after Election Day. The plaintiff asks the court to deem the challenged North Dakota statutes in violation of federal law and to prohibit the state from counting said ballots in future elections.

On Feb. 2, 2024, the court dismissed the case for lack of jurisdiction.

Case Documents

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