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New report gives North Dakota a 'C' for election security

BISMARCK—North Dakota was given a grade of "C," in a report released Monday by the Center for American Progress that provides an overview of election security and preparedness in each state.

The report has garnered the attention of politicians in the state, including U.S. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp.

"The right to vote and the privacy of personal information are sacred," Heitkamp said. "But North Dakota's 'C' grade for election security shows that our election system remains vulnerable, which puts the private information of North Dakotans at risk and raises concerns about our ability to protect future elections from attempted manipulation. It's critical for states across the country to take steps to safeguard future elections and protect voters' privacy."

The CAP report recommends that North Dakota take additional steps to improve overall election security, including the establishment of post-election audits to test the accuracy of outcomes and to detect hacking efforts. The report also recommends that the state require residents stationed or living overseas to return paper ballots in person or by mail instead of electronically.

In addition, Josh Boschee, a candidate running for secretary of state, said the state could do better.

"That is an unacceptably low mark, and it points to how much hard work is needed to secure our elections infrastructure and protect the voices of all North Dakotans at the ballot box," said Boschee, a Democratic challenger who announced his candidacy in January.

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