The Legislature has passed and sent to Governor Bugrum a new voter ID bill. It replaces the law that was declared unconstitutional by a federal judge in North Dakota. The law – passed in 2013 – got rid of the “voter affidavit.” A person who wanted to vote but did not have proper ID could sign that affidavit – and would be allowed to vote. But Judge Daniel Hovland ruled that because the affidavit was discontinued, there was no “fail safe” mechanism for voters without an ID. Hovland said that would put an undue burden on the Native American population.
The law the Legislature passed this session allows a voter without an ID to vote – but the ballot is set aside, and the voter must produce a valid form of ID by the end of the calendar day for that vote to count.
Rep. Mary Johnson (R-Fargo) said she doesn’t think this bill will pass Constitutional muster, either.
“Despite that you provide a provisional ballot, you’re still requiring the same valid ID,” Johnson said during House debate. “That is not truly a ‘fail safe’ option like an affidavit is.”