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Early voting for Cass County primary starts Monday

FARGO — Early voting for the Cass County primary election will begin Monday, June 4. Eligible voters have until Friday, June 8, to go to any one of the three early voting sites in the county to vote ahead of the June 12 primary.

Each of the 102 variations of Cass County ballots this election are available at the early voting sites, so voters do not have to go to their specific district to vote early.

County Auditor Mike Montplaisir said early voting has been very popular.

"It's just convenient for people, it's not the rush or the pressure they have on election day," he said. "We see a lot of our elder population like the early voting simply because it's easier."

Cass County first offered early voting in 2004 after state legislators passed a law allowing it.

That year, early voting was held at the Cass County Courthouse in Fargo, and a total of about 500 people were expected to cast ballots, Montplaisir said. The turnout on just the first day was 500 voters.

Eventually, the courthouse couldn't accommodate the growing crowds, and early voting was moved to other sites.

Early voting trends throughout the primary elections have remained consistent in the last three cycles. In the 2016 primary, of 27,694 total voters, 4,971 voted early, meaning early ballots made up 18 percent of all ballots cast.

In the 2014 election, about 17 percent voted early, following the 18 percent of voters who cast early ballots during the 2012 primary.

The early voter turnout is higher in general elections than primaries. The peak amount of early ballots cast was in the November 2016 election, when nearly 28 percent of voters — 23,158 of the 81,791 voters total — voted early. In the 2014 general election, about 24 percent of voters cast ballots early, and 25 percent voted early in the 2012 general.

This year's general election will happen Tuesday, Nov. 6.

Early voting locations

Early voting will be held in three locations around Cass County in advance of the 2018 primary election, which is set for June 12.

• Ramada Inn, 3333 13th Ave. S., Fargo; 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. June 4-8

• DoubleTree by Hilton, 825 E. Beaton Drive, West Fargo; 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. June 4-8

• Days Inn, 2050 Governor's Drive, Casselton; 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. June 6-8