The Latest: Measure to legalize pot trails in North Dakota

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BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - The Latest on Election Day in North Dakota (all times local):

8:55 p.m.

A measure to legalize marijuana in North Dakota was trailing in early returns.

The state approved medicinal marijuana in 2016, but the rollout has been slow and some voters said Tuesday that the state is not ready for recreational pot.

Law enforcement has lined up solidly against the broad legalization, arguing it would lead to more violent crime, driving accidents and workplace issues. The state also estimated it would be expensive.

Thirty-nine-year-old Kelly Marthaller, a heavy equipment operator in Bismarck, said he voted against legalization after getting advice from his brother, who is a doctor and lives in Colorado, where recreational marijuana is legal. He said recreational pot "needs more time."

Backers argued the legalization would free up law enforcement to tackle more serious crimes.

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8:46 p.m.

Republican Kelly Armstrong has defeated Democrat Mac Schneider to keep North Dakota's U.S. House seat in GOP hands.

Armstrong, a state senator from Dickinson and former state party chairman, will take the seat Kevin Cramer left to run for Senate.

The 41-year-old Armstrong has strong connections to the oil industry, including billionaire Harold Hamm, a key developer.

It was a low-key campaign between the two men, who largely agreed on fewer federal regulations and giving more control to local governments.

The 39-year-old Schneider is a former state senator who lost his bid for re-election in 2016.

Republicans have held the seat since 2010, when Rick Berg defeated Earl Pomeroy.

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8 p.m.

The polls have closed across North Dakota.

The last polls in the state closed at 8 p.m. in Cass County, which includes the state's largest city of Fargo. Polls closed at 7 p.m. local time in the capital city of Bismarck, in Burleigh County.

North Dakota's Secretary of State's Office said voting went relatively smoothly during the day, though a professor helping monitor voting in Indian Country says some people had problems producing the required documents to vote.

Voters need a provable street address, and many people on reservations don't know theirs and don't have IDs that list it.

The Secretary of State's Office said 150,894 people cast ballots in early voting. That was an increase from 2012 and 2016, both presidential election years.

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2:15 p.m.

North Dakota's Secretary of State's Office says voting is going relatively smoothly, though a professor helping monitor voting in Indian Country says some people are having problems producing the required documents to vote.

State Elections Director John Arnold says he hasn't heard of any widespread problems at reservation polling sites. But Professor Carla Fredericks with the University of Colorado's American Indian Law Clinic says dozens and perhaps hundreds of American Indians are having issues with the state's recently tightened voter identification laws.

Voters need a provable street address, and many people on reservations don't know theirs and don't have IDs that list it.

Tribes and nonprofits worked before the election to provide free qualifying ID to thousands of members. But Fredericks says it's still a problem for some.

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11:35 a.m.

North Dakotans who are turning out to vote have a lot on their minds, especially the U.S. Senate race between incumbent Democrat Heidi Heitkamp and Republican challenger Kevin Cramer.

Forty-three-year-old Bismarck banker Heidi Wahl-McDonald says she favors Heitkamp because of what she's done to help farmers and businesses, and because Heitkamp doesn't always vote along party lines.

Eighteen-year-old Bismarck retail store worker Connor Gref says he researched the candidates' claims about one another, and found Cramer to be more truthful and credible.

The outcome of the race could be key to control of the Senate. But it's not the only thing drawing voters. Other big issues being decided are whether to make recreational marijuana legal, whether to explicitly bar non-citizens from voting, and whether to create an ethics commission and restrict lobbying.

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10:15 a.m.

A lot of North Dakotans still vote on Election Day, but an increasing number are voting early.

The Secretary of State's Office says 150,894 people cast ballots in early voting at poll sites or through absentee and vote-by-mail ballots.

The total surpassed those from 2012 and 2016 - both presidential election years in which voter turnout is traditionally higher than in midterm elections like the one this year. In 2016, the number was 134,805. In 2012, it was 136,685.

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7 a.m.

It's a cool, blustery Election Day in North Dakota.

The National Weather Service forecast says highs will be in the 20s and 30s, but the wind will make it feel much colder. There's a wind advisory in effect for western and central North Dakota through the evening, with gusts up to 45 mph.

Snow also is likely in some areas, with patchy blowing snow north of Lake Sakakawea and east of the Missouri River.

Polls are beginning to open across the state. They'll stay open until 7 p.m. local time.

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00:35 a.m.

Nine months after Kevin Cramer changed his mind about running for Senate, he'll find out if voters agree it was the right one.

After entering the race in February after a personal plea from President Donald Trump, Cramer tied himself closer than ever to Trump in hopes of knocking off Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp. Heitkamp struck back by portraying Cramer as a yes-man and playing up her independence from her own party.

Voters Tuesday were also weighing whether to legalize marijuana. Supporters relied mostly on a shoe-leather campaign after they didn't attract much help from big national groups.

The state's House seat was also up for grabs, with Republican Kelly Armstrong seen as a favorite to take Cramer's place.

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