The North Dakota House defeated a bill Wednesday that would have required the state’s colleges and universities to provide student identification cards that could be used to vote. Senate Bill 2330, sponsored by Sen. Ray Holmberg, R-Grand Forks, would have required photo identification cards provided by the universities to include the student’s residential address and birth date. The bill failed 28-63 after sailing through the Senate 46-0 last month. The presidents of North Dakota State University and Dickinson State University opposed the bill in a committee hearing in early March, arguing that it would put students at risk because the IDs are used as keycards for residence halls and students tend to lose them.
Rep. Vicky Steiner, R-Dickinson, said there were some concerns about how the student IDs could create an identification outside of the state’s central voter file. Without a unique identification number that comes with other IDs, an election official would be unable to determine if the voter is new to the state or if their voter file is under a different county, she said.
“Without the ability to determine which record in the central voter file belongs to the individual who cast the ballot, a new record must be created and this new record may be a duplicate record for that voter,” she said on the House floor.