More than six months after North Dakotans voted in the November general election, U.S. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp lost 174 votes and Gov. Jack Dalrymple gained one. Vote tallies for all statewide races and local races in Walsh County were changed by the State Canvassing Board on Thursday after the federal court system realized in mid-February that Walsh County had 300 more votes cast than the number of voters. Secretary of State Al Jaeger said human error happens, and he thinks the canvassing board has never met this long after an election before.
Articles about voting issues in North Dakota.
One would think that if you’re a U.S. Congressman who insulted your state’s largest minority population and threatened bodily injury to their Tribally-elected leaders while in the process of verbally assaulting a Native American woman at a very public state coalition meeting for Abused Women’s Services that you would apologize. That would be the smart, decent thing to do, right? Apparently North Dakota Congressman Kevin Cramer doesn’t think so. On March 26, 2013, he spent nearly half an hour laying into Melissa Merrick, the Director of the Spirit Lake Victim Assistance Program. She’s also a tribal member who happens to be a survivor of child sexual abuse. During that time, Cramer reportedly stated in front of a roomful of domestic violence advocates that he wanted to “wring the Spirit Lake tribal council’s necks and slam them against the wall.” He also called tribal governments dysfunctional, and went on a tirade against provisions in the Violence Against Women Act that are meant to protect Native American women. His tantrum was so disturbing that attendees at the meeting got up and left. By the time the dust settled, another Native American woman present was in tears.
The Walsh County election canvassing board spent more than seven hours Tuesday without successfully finding the source of a 301-vote discrepancy in the Nov. 6 general election. That is, there were 4,603 people that voted, but the tally came to 4,904 votes. The board was still working, with no decision, late Tuesday evening. It’s possible, but officials believe unlikely, that one Walsh County Commission seat may hang in the balance.
The Legislature has sent Gov. Jack Dalrymple a bill requiring an identification to vote. By a 60-24 vote, the House passed House Bill 1332, which will abolish the use of voter affidavits if Dalrymple signs it. Those backing the measure have said the affidavit process, which allows people to vote without proving who they or where they live, causes multiple problems during an election and can easily lead to voter fraud. During the 2012 election, 10,519 affidavits were signed, 379 were returned to the county auditor as unverifiable, and nine are being prosecuted as fraudulent, all out of a total of 325,000 votes.
North Dakota voters may have to present identification before they can cast a ballot at the next election. Senate lawmakers Wednesday passed House Bill 1332 by a 30-16 vote, which will eliminate the voter affidavit process that allows a voter to cast a ballot without proof of eligibility. Currently, people who can’t prove residency at the polls can vote by signing an affidavit that says they are a North Dakota resident. The bill will be sent to Gov. Jack Dalrymple for his signature. The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Randy Boehning, R-Fargo, and other lawmakers have been concerned about the current system, arguing it leads to voter fraud. Opponents of the proposal raised concerns that requiring identification will make it difficult for elderly people and college students to obtain an ID because they are physically unable to or do not have a permanent residence to obtain one.
The Senate Appropriations Committee gave a bill that would require a state-issued identification to vote a do pass recommendation on Tuesday. Committee members spent 30 minutes discussing House Bill 1332 before voting 7-6 in favor of the bill. The bill now heads back to the Senate Government and Veterans Affairs Committee for further review. Primary bill sponsor Rep. Randy Boehning, R-Fargo, said the bill deals with voter affidavits and details a requirement for having a state-issued identification to vote. Boehning pointed out a change made by the Government and Veterans Affairs Committee.
A number of bills introduced by lawmakers this session could bring changes to the way North Dakotans conduct elections, vote and report campaign finances. Thirty-one pieces of legislation have been introduced in both chambers in either bill or resolution form. The bills tackle issues including absentee ballots, voting locations, initiated ballot measures and voter identification. Rep. Randy Boehning, R-Fargo, called voting the public’s most important civic duty. “We need integrity in voting,” Boehning said. That’s why, he said, he’s the primary sponsor of House Bill 1332. The bill deals with voter affidavits and outlining a requirement for having a state-issued identification to vote.
North Dakota: Grand Forks activist loses appeal against state election official | Grand Forks Herald
A Grand Forks political activist who accused the secretary of state of discriminating against third-party candidates has lost his appeal before the state Supreme Court. Roland Riemers, a Libertarian who ran for governor last fall, lost his case in Grand Forks County district court in September. The state’s high court affirmed that ruling in an opinion released Tuesday. The case is Roland Riemers v. Alvin Jaeger, the secretary of state. Essentially, Riemers said the state prevented him from appearing on the November ballot as a Libertarian — he ran as an independent — because of a paperwork error, but did not penalize Republican and Democratic gubernatorial candidates for a different paperwork error. He wanted their names off the ballot, too.
Despite arguments that a significant proposed change to the North Dakota voting process was not given enough attention by a House committee, the House on Tuesday passed an amendment that would require voters to show identification before casting a ballot. The amendment would require all voters to present a valid ID before they cast their ballot during a primary or general election. The ID does not need to include a photo. The amendment’s sponsor, Rep. Randy Boehning, R-Fargo, and other lawmakers are concerned about the current system that allows a voter to cast a ballot without proof of eligibility by signing an affidavit that says they are a North Dakota resident.
North Dakota could go from taking people at their word on Election Day to requiring them to show a photo ID in order to vote, under a bill passed by a House committee Friday. The House Government and Veterans Affair Committee gave a do-pass recommendation to House Bill 1332 after the bill sponsor, Rep. Randy Boehning, R-Fargo, vice-chair of the committee, “hoghoused” his original bill, stripping it of its old language and adding new language to include the identification requirement. It also has a provision that the state would provide an ID card at no cost to an eligible voter without a driver’s license. The bill was passed out of committee with the amendment quickly, which concerned committee member Rep. Marie Strinden, D-Grand Forks. Strinden said the new language of the bill doesn’t address identification issues concerning college students, elderly or homeless individuals.