North Dakota held two statewide elections in 2016: a primary election on Tuesday, June 14, and a general election on Tuesday, November 8. In addition, each township elected officers on Tuesday, March 15, and each school district selected a date between April 1 and June 30 to hold their elections.[1] This would have been the first election since the state legislature revoked the ability to use a student or military ID to satisfy state ID voting requirements,[2] but a court ruling in August struck the down the provision, and the election was held under the 2013 rules.[3]

Primary Election

On Tuesday, June 14, North Dakota voters decided which candidates for statewide and legislative office would appear on their ballot. In addition, voters were faced with the decision whether to ratify a single initiative, which was passed by the legislature, but referred to statewide vote via petition.

Measure 1

In 2015, the North Dakota Legislative Assembly passed SB 2351, which would allow corporations and limited liability companies to own dairy and swine production facilities up to 640 acres (260 ha) in size. On March 27, 2015, a committee of members led by officers of North Dakota Farmers Union filed an unsigned petition with the North Dakota Secretary of State, allowing the group to gather signatures with the intent to place the item on the June ballot. On June 16, 2015, the committee returned with 19,354 valid signatures, well above the 13,452 required.[4]

On the June 14 Primary Ballot, voters were asked to approve or deny the bill, given the following explanation:

Senate Bill No. 2351, passed by the 2015 Legislative Assembly, would allow the ownership or leasing of up to 640 acres of land for the operation of a dairy farm or swine production facility by a domestic corporation or limited liability company. Senate Bill 2351 would also require the agriculture commissioner to develop reporting and monitoring rules to ensure compliance.

General Election

On Tuesday, November 8, North Dakota voters selected the state's three presidential electors, one United States Senator, one United States Representative, Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and several other statewide executive and judicial branch offices. Voters who live in even-numbered legislative districts also selected their representatives to the North Dakota House of Representatives and North Dakota Senate. Finally, voters approved only one of the five ballot petitions that have received enough signatures to be placed on the ballot.

United States President and Vice President

Main article: 2016 United States presidential election in North Dakota

North Dakota voters chose three electors to represent them in the Electoral College via a popular vote. Voters selected the electors representing the Republican candidates, businessman Donald Trump and Indiana Governor Mike Pence, over their Democratic rivals, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Senator Tim Kaine.

2016 United States Presidential election in North Dakota[5]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Donald Trump and Mike Pence 216,794 62.96
Democratic Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine 93,758 27.23
Libertarian Gary Johnson and William Weld 21,434 6.22
N/A Write-ins 6,397 1.86
Green Jill Stein and Ajamu Baraka 3,780 1.10
Constitution Darrell Castle and Scott Bradley 1,833 0.53
American Delta Rocky De La Fuente and Michael Steinberg 364 0.11
Total votes 344,360 100.00
Republican win

United States Senator

Main article: 2016 United States Senate election in North Dakota

Voters selected whom to send to Class III of the United States Senate. The incumbent, Republican John Hoeven, defeated Democratic-NPL state representative Eliot Glassheim by a wide margin.

2016 United States Senate election in North Dakota[5]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican John Hoeven 268,788 78.48
Democratic–NPL Eliot Glassheim 58,116 16.97
Libertarian Robert Marquette 10,556 3.08
Independent James Germalic 4,675 1.36
N/A Write-ins 366 0.11
Total votes 342,501 100.00
Republican hold

United States House of Representatives

Main article: 2016 United States House of Representatives election in North Dakota

Voters selected a representative to the United States House of Representatives. Incumbent Republican Representative Kevin Cramer defeated Democratic-NPL American Indian activist Chase Iron Eyes.

2016 North Dakota's at-large congressional district[5]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Kevin Cramer 233,980 69.13
Democratic–NPL Chase Iron Eyes 80,377 23.75
Libertarian Jack Seaman 23,528 6.95
N/A Write-ins 574 0.17
Total votes 338,459 100.00
Republican hold

Governor and Lieutenant Governor

Main article: 2016 North Dakota gubernatorial election

The Republican team of businessman Doug Burgum and Watford City mayor Brent Sanford defeated the Democratic-NPL candidates, state representative Marvin Nelson and state senator Joan Heckaman in the race to replace retiring incumbent Governor Jack Dalrymple and Lieutenant Governor Drew Wrigley.

2016 North Dakota gubernatorial election[5]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Doug Burgum and Brent Sanford 259,863 76.52
Democratic–NPL Marvin Nelson and Joan Heckaman 65,855 19.39
Libertarian Marty Riske and Joshua Voytek 13,230 3.90
N/A Other 653 0.19
Total votes 339,601 100.00
Republican hold

State Auditor

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In the election for State Auditor, voters selected Republican accountant Josh Gallion to replace retiring incumbent Bob Peterson over frequent Libertarian Party candidate Roland Riemers.

2016 North Dakota State Auditor election[5]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Josh Gallion 236,751 76.62
Libertarian Roland Riemers 70,818 22.92
N/A Write-ins 1,423 0.46
Total votes 308,992 100.00
Republican hold

State Treasurer

In the State Treasurer election, Republican incumbent Kelly Schmidt defeated the Democratic-NPL challenger, state senator Tim Mathern.

2016 North Dakota State Treasurer election[5]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Kelly Schmidt (incumbent) 204,733 62.95
Democratic–NPL Tim Mathern 95,191 29.27
Libertarian Eric Olson 24,829 7.63
N/A Write-ins 491 0.15
Total votes 325,244 100.00
Republican hold

Insurance Commissioner

In the race for Insurance Commissioner, voters selected the Republican candidate, Greater North Dakota Chamber executive Jon Godfread, over the Democratic-NPL candidate, educator Ruth Buffalo, to replace incumbent commissioner Adam Hamm, who declined to run for a third term.

2016 North Dakota Insurance Commissioner election[5]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Jon Godfread 206,067 64.41
Democratic–NPL Ruth Buffalo 85,696 26.79
Libertarian Nick Bata 27,642 8.64
N/A Write-ins 534 0.17
Total votes 319,939 100.00
Republican hold

Public Service Commissioner

Voters were given the opportunity to fill one of the three seats on the Public Service Commission, selecting Republican incumbent Julie Fedorchak over Democratic-NPL rival Marlo Hunte-Beaubrun.

2016 North Dakota Public Service Commissioner election[5]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Julie Fedorchak (incumbent) 218,961 68.76
Democratic–NPL Marlo Hunte-Beaubrun 72,028 22.62
Libertarian Thomas Skadeland 26,913 8.45
N/A Write-ins 563 0.18
Total votes 318,465 100.00
Republican hold

Superintendent of Public Instruction

In the nonpartisan election for Superintendent of Public Instruction, voters selected incumbent Kirsten Baesler, who had been endorsed by the Republican Party, over educator Joe Chiang, who had not been endorsed by any statewide party.

2016 North Dakota Superintendent of Public Instruction election[5]
Candidate Votes %
Kirsten Baesler 220,079 74.60
Joe Chiang 73,350 24.86
Write-in 1,598 0.54
Total votes 295,027 100.00

Supreme Court Justice

Two seats on the North Dakota Supreme Court were up for election in 2016: a regularly scheduled election to a full ten-year term, in which Jerod Tufte and Robert Bolinske competed to replace retiring Justice Dale Sandstrom, and a special election to serve the final two years of the term of retired Justice Mary Muehlen Maring, in which Lisa K. Fair McEvers ran unopposed.

2016 Justice of the North Dakota Supreme Court election[5]
Candidate Votes %
Jerod Elton Tufte 166,229 60.69
Robert V. Bolinske, Sr 105,825 38.64
Write-in 1,851 0.68
Total votes 273,905 100.00
2016 Justice of the North Dakota Supreme Court special election[5]
Candidate Votes %
Lisa Fair McEvers 261,255 98.98
Write-in 2,700 1.02
Total votes 263,955 100.00


  1. ^ "2016 North Dakota Election Calendar" (PDF). North Dakota Secretary of State. Archived from the original (PDF) on February 27, 2016. Retrieved February 27, 2016.
  2. ^ Watts, Adam; Lyden, Grace (March 9, 2016). "ID law may complicate voting for North Dakota students". Forum of Fargo-Moorhead. Retrieved March 9, 2016.
  3. ^ Childress, Sarah (August 2, 2016). "North Dakota's Voter ID Law Is Latest to Be Overturned". Frontline. WGBH-TV. Retrieved September 22, 2016.
  4. ^ "Timeline for Referral of Senate Bill No. 2351" (PDF). North Dakota Secretary of State. Retrieved February 27, 2016.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Official Results General Election". North Dakota Voting Information & Central Election Systems. North Dakota Secretary of State. November 8, 2016. Retrieved January 2, 2017.