The auditor of North Dakota’s most populous county says several bills in the state Legislature would make it harder to vote and administer elections. Bills introduced by Republican lawmakers would shorten the time for early and absentee voting and more than double the number of days a person must live in a precinct before voting there. Under another bill, voters – often college students – who must fill out an affidavit because they don’t have proof of their current address would have to provide that proof within a week of the election to have their vote counted.
Cass County Auditor Mike Montplaisir, who plans to testify on a number of the bills this week, said none of them would make the voting process easier, saying it “seems like a pattern here.”
“It makes it harder for our office, and I think it disenfranchises or makes it more difficult for the voter,” he said. Under current law, a voter must reside in a precinct for at least 30 days before the election to cast a ballot there.
House Bill 1332 would change the requirement to at least 30 days before the deadline for distributing absentee ballots – effectively at least 70 days before the election. Rep. Randy Boehning, R-Fargo, said the bill he introduced with five other House Republicans aims to ensure that voters are residents of their precinct for at least 30 days before filling out a ballot, regardless of when they vote.