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Forum News Service, Published March 21 2013

Free ID would fulfill requirement at polls

BISMARCK – Voters may soon be able to obtain a free nonphoto identification card from the Department of Transportation as a way to fulfill a proposed ID requirement at the polls.

House Bill 1332 would require an ID as a way to eliminate using voter affidavits, which allow voters to cast a ballot by signing the back affirming they legally can vote.

The affidavits practice is being questioned by Secretary of State Al Jaeger and other lawmakers because it is time consuming, costly and an election is often decided before an affidavit is counted.

The DOT would lose about $245,000 a biennium since it would no longer be able to charge $8 per ID. It also would cost about $12,000 to administer the new law.

No action was taken by the committee.