North Dakota

Articles about voting issues in North Dakota.

North Dakota: Warning of ‘thousands of unverifiable votes,’ State asks judge to lift order on voter ID law | Bismarck Tribune

The state of North Dakota asked a federal judge this week to lift a 2016 order preventing it from implementing its voter identification law without a “fail-safe” option previously available to voters. The Republican-controlled Legislature in 2013 eliminated the affidavit option that allowed voters who didn’t provide an ID to swear their eligibility. That change, along with others made in 2015, were challenged in court by seven members of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa who argued the laws were unconstitutional and discriminatory. A federal judge granted a preliminary injunction in August 2016, just a few months before the election, and later ordered North Dakota to offer the affidavits. Read More

North Dakota: Aging voting machines could pose a challenge for counties | Prairie Public Broadcasting

In 2017, the North Dakota Legislature was asked to fund new voting machines. The Legislature declined. And that means North Dakota is using the same voting system it purchased back in 2004. “That’s a long life span for technology,” said Deputy Secretary of State Jim Silrum. Silrum said the current machines use the Windows 7 operating system. Windows no longer supports that system, and Silrum said the counties have had to cannibalize their existing machines to have some that still work. “You can’t any longer find chips or motherboards that run slow enough, because modern technology has advanced,” Silrum said. “They just say, ‘Why would we want to build something so slow?'” Read More

North Dakota: Attorney: New Voter Law Still Unconstitutional | Associated Press

Several members of an American Indian tribe in North Dakota have filed an amended lawsuit challenging the state’s voter identification laws, saying the law remains a “form of voter suppression.” Republican Gov. Doug Burgum signed legislation in April that reworked the ID laws after members of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa sued the state in January 2016. The lawsuit alleged the ID requirements violated the U.S. Voting Rights Act and discriminated against Native Americans. Read More

North Dakota: New complaint challenges latest North Dakota voter ID law | West Fargo Pioneer

Attorneys representing several members of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa have filed a new complaint challenging North Dakota’s latest voter ID law. The amended complaint, filed Dec. 13, asks a federal judge to declare House Bill 1369 unconstitutional and prevent it from being implemented, arguing that it violates the national Voting Rights Act. The bill, sponsored by Republican lawmakers, was signed into law by Gov. Doug Burgum in late April. The plaintiffs already scored a legal victory in August 2016, when U.S. District Judge Daniel Hovland granted a preliminary injunction preventing the state from implementing its voter ID law without some kind of “fail-safe” option that was eliminated by the Legislature in 2013. Voters who didn’t bring a valid identification to the polls in November 2016 were offered affidavits to swear that he or she was a qualified elector. Read More

North Dakota: As total voting sites drop, do elections suffer? | Bismarck Tribune

In June, more than 4,700 Grand Forks residents filtered through the Alerus Center — and only the Alerus Center — to vote on the future of a downtown’s Arbor Park. It was another sign of the polling consolidation popping up across the state, as voting locations continue a yearslong drop. The move was a first for the city, which had never before held its own single-site election. But in the aftermath of the vote, the debate over the park seemed settled, and Grand Forks leaders were glad to skirt the costs and logistical headache they say can come with polling sites all around town. Then came the lawsuit. A group of about two dozen voters sought to have the election voided, their case stated, in part because using a single-site system was an overreach of city authority. That claim was the result of months of concerns that the new system and its lower number of voting locations would reduce turnout and potentially change the election’s results. Read More

North Dakota: Jaeger says no way to know if there is voter fraud now | Bismarck Tribune

Identified cases of voter fraud are rare in North Dakota, but weaknesses in the election system and lack of prosecution does leave room for getting away with it, according to information from the North Dakota Secretary of State’s Office. “While some individuals argue that there is no evidence of widespread voter fraud, there are others who argue the exact opposite. Regardless, the truth is that under the current forms of election administration, it is not possible to establish whether widespread voter fraud does or does not exist because it is difficult to determine either way when proof is not required of voters when registering or prior to voting,” Secretary of State Al Jaeger wrote to the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity. When cases are suspected, he wrote, “This office has often been informed the State’s Attorneys have cases of ‘greater consequence’ on which to focus. Unfortunately, there can be no convictions when there is no will to prosecute.” Read More

North Dakota: State officials unable to provide voter info to election commission | INFORUM

North Dakota state officials are unable to provide requested voter information to a controversial committee studying alleged voter fraud, Secretary of State Al Jaeger told the commission this week. In a letter to the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity dated Tuesday, Sept. 5, Jaeger said North Dakota doesn’t register voters and state law doesn’t allow information maintained in its Central Voter File to be shared “except with certain individuals and groups and for a specific limited purpose.” He said information in the CVF is only available to candidates, political parties and political committees and may only be used for election-related purposes. “The commission does not qualify as an eligible recipient,” Jaeger, a Republican, wrote. Read More

North Dakota: City election date debated by lawmakers | Bismarck Tribune

Moving local elections to November may make it harder for voters to keep track of races, a North Dakota lawmaker said Tuesday. The interim Government Administration Committee began examining the possibility of moving city and other local elections from June to November during a meeting at the state Capitol Tuesday. City elections in North Dakota are held on the second Tuesday in June in each even-numbered year, coinciding with primary elections for state and federal offices, while general elections are held in November during each even-numbered year. The resolution requesting the legislative study said conducting local elections at the same time as the primary may cause voter confusion. Moreover, newly elected city officials have only about two months to get up to speed before cities have to prepare preliminary budgets. Read More

North Dakota: New ND voter ID law to go into effect | Grand Forks Herald

A recall election in a town of about 45 people is expected to be among the first tests of North Dakota’s new voter identification law later this year. The new law, passed by the Republican-controlled Legislature and signed by Gov. Doug Burgum in late April, goes into effect Saturday, July 1, along with a swath of other bills. July 1 marks the beginning of a new two-year funding cycle known as a biennium. Proponents of the new law said it will help protect the “integrity” of North Dakota elections while addressing concerns raised by a federal lawsuit over voter ID requirements passed in the previous two legislative sessions. Read More

North Dakota: Burgum signs voter ID bill amid lawsuit | Bismarck Tribune

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. The bill allows those who don’t bring a valid ID to the polls 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. Read More