North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum signed legislation amending the state’s voter identification laws Monday, April 24, despite warnings it doesn’t comply with a federal judge’s ruling. Burgum signed House Bill 1369, his spokesman Mike Nowatzki said. It comes amid a federal lawsuit challenging changes made by the Republican-led Legislature in the past two sessions.
Articles about voting issues in North Dakota.
North Dakota: Lawmakers pass voter ID bill, but attorney says it doesn’t follow court ruling | West Fargo Pioneer
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 If an ID doesn’t include required information or is out of date, a voter could use a current utility bill, bank statement, government-issued check, paycheck or government document to supplement the ID.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 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.
After altering voter identification laws in previous legislative sessions, North Dakota’s Republican-led Legislature now is attempting to fix them after a group of American Indians sued in federal court, alleging the state requirements are unconstitutional and disenfranchised tribal members. The House passed a bill Monday that allows those who don’t have proper ID to cast a ballot that’s set aside until the voter’s eligibility is confirmed. The Senate still must agree to the measure before it goes to GOP Gov. Doug Burgum for his signature. Before 2013, a voter could sign an affidavit attesting to his or her eligibility to vote in the precinct but the Legislature removed that provision. Some members of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa sued last year, alleging the reworked state requirements are unconstitutional and robbed tribal members of their right to vote.
North Dakota: Voter ID bill, eliminating affidavit option, passes North Dakota Senate | Bismarck Tribune
North Dakota senators approved changes to the state’s voter identification laws Monday. The bill, introduced by House Majority Leader Al Carlson, R-Fargo, requires voters to provide an identification issued by the state Department of Transportation or tribal government. It also includes options for those living in “special circumstances.” If the information on the ID isn’t current, it could be supplemented with a current utility bill, bank statement or paycheck.
North Dakota is the only state in the country without voter registration, which makes voting easier in theory. The American Civil Liberties Union, however, calls the state’s voter identification laws the most restrictive in the nation. The Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians are suing the state over voter identification laws. In response, a federal judge told the state it must allow voters to fill out an affidavit to vote in the 2016 general election. Lawmakers argue these affidavits allow people to vote illegally by claiming they live where they don’t.
North Dakota: Jaeger hopes to restore funding for voting machines, electronic poll books | Prairie Public Broadcasting
Secretary of State Al Jaeger is hoping the state Senate will restore funding for new voting machines and new electronic poll books. Jaeger proposed a $6 million expenditure to replace the voting machines, as well as another $4 million to have electronic poll books in all the counties. But the House nixed both items. Jaeger said the current voting machines were purchased in 2004 as part of the federal Help America Vote Act. He said the counties have had to cannibalize existing machines for parts to keep some of the machines running.
New voter identification requirements passed the North Dakota House Thursday. For voters who don’t have a proper ID, the bill does away with the affidavit option that was available during November’s election in favor of a ballot that is set aside and excluded from the count until the voter’s eligibility is confirmed, said Rep. Scott Louser, R-Minot. He called it a “voter integrity bill.” House Bill 1369, introduced by House Majority Leader Al Carlson and other Republican lawmakers, passed on a 74-16 vote Thursday. “Everyone eligible to vote in North Dakota elections shall be able to vote one time, and everyone not eligible to vote in North Dakota elections shall not be able to vote,” Louser said.
North Dakota lawmakers are again considering changes to the state’s voter identification requirements, an issue that has landed the state in federal court over previous laws passed by the Legislature. House Bill 1369 would help preserve the integrity of the state’s elections, House Majority Leader Al Carlson, R-Fargo, said in testimony to the House Government and Veterans Affairs Committee Friday, Jan. 27. “By no means does this bill attempt to disenfranchise voters,” he said. “This bill only attempts to verify and make that those voters are, in fact, true North Dakota residents and are allowed to vote.” The bill would require qualified electors to provide a driver’s license, non-driver’s identification card or tribal ID. If the ID doesn’t include the required information or is out of date, the voter could present supplemental documents such as a current utility bill, bank statement or a government-issued check.
North Dakota county officials are warning the state’s aging election system could be “unworkable” by the next presidential contest and are seeking state funding for new equipment. But legislators who are trying to fund state agencies and programs with significantly less tax revenue than they had just a few years ago are hesitant to meet the request. House Bill 1123, introduced at the request of the Secretary of State, would appropriate $9 million from the general fund to replace equipment such as ballot scanners across the state. House Bill 1122 would appropriate $3 million to place electronic poll books, which are currently used by only eight counties to check in voters, in every polling location in North Dakota.