A bill adjusting North Dakota’s voter ID law awaits action from Gov. Doug Burgum after the Legislature approved it this week. The Senate passed House Bill 1369 in a 35-10 vote Tuesday, April 18, after the House approved it Monday. Although proponents said it will help protect the integrity of the state’s elections, an attorney challenging North Dakota’s voter ID laws said the bill doesn’t comply with a federal judge’s 2016 ruling. For those who don’t bring a valid ID to the polls, the bill allows voters to cast a ballot that’s set aside until they produce an ID. If an ID doesn’t include required information or is out of date, a voter could use a current utility bill, bank statement, government-issued check, paycheck or government document to supplement the ID.
The bill lists valid forms of identification as a driver’s license or non-driver’s ID card issued by the Department of Transportation or a tribal government-issued ID. It also includes several options for those living in “special circumstances,” such as in a long-term care facility.
The bill, introduced by Republican lawmakers led by House Majority Leader Al Carlson, R-Fargo, comes amid a federal lawsuit over the state’s voter ID laws.
Secretary of State Al Jaeger was sued by seven members of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa in early 2016 over changes passed in the previous two legislative sessions by the Republican-led Legislature. The plaintiffs argued the law disenfranchised Native Americans.