The two sides fighting over North Dakota’s voter identification law failed to reach a settlement Tuesday, May 29. More than two years after several members of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa sued Secretary of State Al Jaeger over the state’s voter ID laws, the two sides met in a settlement conference at the federal courthouse in Bismarck Tuesday. But that ended without an agreement, Jaeger told county auditors in a message. Jaeger, a Republican, said he couldn’t disclose any proposals because the talks were confidential. He said “discussions may continue.”
Articles about voting issues in North Dakota.
North Dakota: GOP to support independent secretary of state candidate after learning about nominee’s peeping case | West Fargo Pioneer
The North Dakota Republican Party confirmed it will support an independent candidate for secretary of state Tuesday, May 22, one day after that office’s longtime occupant said he would mount such a campaign. Republican Al Jaeger said Monday he’ll work to gather the 1,000 signatures necessary to appear on the November ballot as an independent. That announcement came a day after the Republican-endorsed candidate, Will Gardner, dropped out of the race once his 2006 peeping arrest surfaced. The North Dakota Republican Party said in a news release Tuesday that independent candidates who intend to petition for a letter of support should appear before a Republican State Committee meeting June 16 in Fargo, a few days after the primary election. The party will begin drafting procedural rules for the meeting.Full Article: ND GOP to support independent secretary of state candidate after learning about nominee’s peeping case | West Fargo Pioneer.
North Dakota: Jaeger to run as independent after Gardner drops out of secretary of state’s race | West Fargo Pioneer
North Dakota Secretary of State Al Jaeger plans to seek re-election as an independent in November after the Republican-endorsed candidate dropped out once his 2006 peeping arrest surfaced. Jaeger, a Republican who has been in office since 1993, said Monday, May 21, he conferred with Republican Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem about his legal options and determined an independent run was his only viable path to re-election. “I know the office well. I believe I have a good record,” Jaeger said. Jaeger will need 1,000 signatures by Sept. 4 to appear on the November ballot.Full Article: Jaeger to run as independent after Gardner drops out of ND secretary of state’s race | West Fargo Pioneer.
North Dakota: As settlement talks near, Heitkamp says voter ID laws ‘clearly target’ Native Americans, college students | West Fargo Pioneer
Heidi Heitkamp criticized North Dakota lawmakers this week for passing what she called unnecessary voter identification laws in the years after she was first elected to the U.S. Senate as a Democrat, drawing a rebuke from Republicans. In an interview Thursday, May 10, Heitkamp said the laws “clearly target” Native Americans and college students, two groups that tend to favor Democrats. She said there’s “absolutely no proof” of voter fraud in North Dakota.Full Article: As settlement talks near, Heitkamp says voter ID laws 'clearly target' Native Americans, college students | West Fargo Pioneer.
North Dakota agreed to hold settlement negotiations with a group of American Indians who sued over expanded voter ID laws after a federal judge admonished the state for exaggerating worries of voter fraud. U.S. Magistrate Judge Charles Miller on Monday scheduled the settlement talks proposed by the plaintiffs for May 29 in Bismarck. In a ruling last week, U.S. District Judge Daniel Hovland criticized the state for raising a “litany of embellished concerns” about people taking advantage of his earlier ruling that expands the proof of identity Native Americans can use for North Dakota elections. Hovland had suggested the parties negotiate a settlement “so that all homeless persons, and all persons who live on Native American reservations in North Dakota, can have a meaningful opportunity to vote.”Full Article: North Dakota agrees to settlement talks over voter ID laws | Bradenton Herald.
A federal judge won’t delay part of a ruling that found problems with how North Dakota’s voter identification laws affect Native Americans, despite the state saying it could lead to voter fraud. U.S. District Judge Daniel Hovland in his order Monday chided the state for raising a “litany of embellished concerns” about people taking advantage of his ruling last month that expand the proof of identity Native Americans can use for North Dakota elections. Hovland last month eliminated a requirement that documents used by Native American include residential street addresses. Those sometimes aren’t assigned on American Indian reservations. North Dakota officials called that part of the ruling unworkable, and claimed someone with only a post office box could still vote where they don’t live. “The reality is (the state) has failed to demonstrate any evidence of voter fraud in the past or present,” Hovland wrote in his order Monday, denying a delay.Full Article: Federal judge won't delay North Dakota voter ID ruling | Bradenton Herald.
North Dakota voters should be prepared to show identification when they go to the polls in June, although just what that means might depend on a federal judge. Secretary of State Al Jaeger spoke to the Minot Area Chamber of Commerce’s Governmental Affairs Committee Friday about the state’s election system. Earlier this month, U.S. District Judge Daniel Hovland expanded the valid forms of identification that can be used by tribal members and struck down a state mandate that voter identification include a current residential street address. Several members of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa first challenged the state’s voter ID law more than two years ago. They are asking the court to award them $1.1 million in attorney fees and other costs.Full Article: Court ruling hangs over June election | News, Sports, Jobs - Minot Daily News.
North Dakota is fighting part of a federal judge’s ruling that loosened the state’s voter identification law. Early this month, U.S. District Judge Daniel Hovland issued an order preventing the state from requiring that IDs include a “current residential street address, which Native American communities often lack. The state asked Tuesday, April 10, to delay that order while an appeal is pending. The state also asked for a stay on Hovland’s order requiring a voter education campaign, arguing that “informing the public now about information that may later change may cause more confusion.”
A federal judge has agreed to expand the proof of identity Native Americans can use for North Dakota elections, a decision reversing his temporary order that allowed voters without a state-approved ID to cast ballots by signing a legal document. U.S. District Judge Daniel Hovland’s ruling issued Tuesday adds other tribal documents to the state’s list of valid forms of ID. It also eliminates a requirement that those documents include residential street addresses, which sometimes aren’t assigned on American Indian reservations. “No eligible voter, regardless of their station in life, should be denied the opportunity to vote,” Hovland wrote in his 17-page ruling.Full Article: Federal judge expands tribal ID options for North Dakota | WBOY.
North Dakota: With election nearing, state of State asks for quick review of voter ID case | West Fargo Pioneer
The state of North Dakota has asked a federal judge to speed up his review in the ongoing battle over its voter identification laws as a statewide election draws closer. In a motion filed in U.S. District Court in North Dakota Friday, March 9, an attorney for the state noted that the primary election is just three months away. Moreover, absentee and mail-in ballots for that election can be submitted as early as April 27. Deputy Solicitor General James Nicolai wrote that “timely resolution of the pending motions brought by both sides is necessary for proper planning by election officials.” He asked U.S. District Judge Daniel Hovland to “resolve this matter at the earliest possible time.”Full Article: With election nearing, state of ND asks for quick review of voter ID case | West Fargo Pioneer.
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.Full Article: Warning of ‘thousands of unverifiable votes,’ ND asks judge to lift order on voter ID law | North Dakota News | bismarcktribune.com.
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?'”
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.Full Article: Attorney: New North Dakota Voter Law Still Unconstitutional | North Dakota News | US News.
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.Full Article: New complaint challenges latest North Dakota voter ID law | West Fargo Pioneer.
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.Full Article: As total voting sites drop, do elections suffer? | North Dakota News | bismarcktribune.com.
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.”Full Article: Jaeger says no way to know if there is voter fraud now | North Dakota News | bismarcktribune.com.
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.Full Article: North Dakota unable to provide voter info to election commission | INFORUM.
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.Full Article: City election date debated by North Dakota lawmakers | North Dakota News | bismarcktribune.com.
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.Full Article: New ND voter ID law to go into effect | Grand Forks Herald.
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.Full Article: Burgum signs voter ID bill amid lawsuit | Bismarck Tribune.