A new survey from North Dakota State University found that about 3 percent of North Dakota college students who tried to vote in November’s election “were unable to participate due to confusion over residency requirements.” The survey, conducted by the Upper Midwest Regional Center on Public Policy at NDSU and released Tuesday, comes after the North Dakota Legislature eliminated the voter affidavit option in 2013, which allowed someone to cast a ballot without proper identification. IDs had to reflect the voter’s current precinct 30 days before the November election in order to vote there. Almost 93 percent of survey respondents who tried to vote were successful. Out of the 79 students surveyed who tried to vote but were unsuccessful, 36 reported some issue related to their residential address, while others had issues related to absentee ballots or other issues.
“I had heard from some students in my classes and then there were reports in the newspapers, that there had been some confusion and some people hadn’t gotten to vote,” said Nick Bauroth, director of the Upper Midwest Regional Center on Public Policy. “So we were trying to figure out to what extent this problem existed or not.”
Invitations for the survey were sent to 49,000 students at the 11 North Dakota University System institutions after the election, and 1,800 completed the survey.