North Dakota voters should be prepared to show identification when they go to the polls in June, although just what that means might depend on a federal judge. Secretary of State Al Jaeger spoke to the Minot Area Chamber of Commerce’s Governmental Affairs Committee Friday about the state’s election system. Earlier this month, U.S. District Judge Daniel Hovland expanded the valid forms of identification that can be used by tribal members and struck down a state mandate that voter identification include a current residential street address. Several members of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa first challenged the state’s voter ID law more than two years ago. They are asking the court to award them $1.1 million in attorney fees and other costs.
The state recently asked the judge to temporarily set aside his decision to allow a post office box rather than a street address as identification, arguing it would not be possible to determine whether a voter is casting a ballot in the correct precinct.
Jaeger said election officials will permit people without IDs to fill out ballots, which will be set aside for up to five days to allow the voter to produce the identifying documents. Hovland asked for clarification of that new “set-aside” law passed last year but did not strike it down. The state wants the judge to allow its requirement that identifying documents include street addresses.