The North Dakota House rejected a bill backed by Democratic lawmakers on Thursday, Jan. 31, that sought to allow the state’s college students to use university-issued identification to vote. House Bill 1479 would have required colleges and universities to provide students with an identification card that could be scanned by a polling clerk to access their address in the state’s central voter file. It failed in a 78-13 vote that almost entirely fell along party lines. Rep. Matt Eidson, D-Grand Forks, was the bill’s primary sponsor.
Minot Republican Rep. Scott Louser noted the U.S. Supreme Court declined to take up a challenge to North Dakota’s voter ID law last year. The state’s laws have been the subject of lawsuits that argue they disproportionately burden Native Americans.
State law requires a North Dakota driver’s license, a nondriver’s ID card, a tribal ID or a long-term care certificate to vote at the polls. It allows voters to use supplemental documentation, such as a utility bill or bank statement, to prove their eligibility.