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TJ Jerke, Forum News Service, Published April 12 2013

Bill requiring ID to vote in North Dakota sent to governor

BISMARCK – The Legislature has sent Gov. Jack Dalrymple a bill requiring an identification to vote.

By a 60-24 vote, the House passed House Bill 1332, which will abolish the use of voter affidavits if Dalrymple signs it.

Those backing the measure have said the affidavit process, which allows people to vote without proving who they or where they live, causes multiple problems during an election and can easily lead to voter fraud.

During the 2012 election, 10,519 affidavits were signed, 379 were returned to the county auditor as unverifiable, and nine are being prosecuted as fraudulent, all out of a total of 325,000 votes.

“When you have that many affidavits, when you don’t know for sure if they are who they say they are, we need to clean up our election process,” said Rep. Jim Kasper, R-Fargo.

Rep. Corey Mock, D-Grand Forks, said the bill would make voting the first right to require a state-issued ID card.

“The bill is a solution in search of many more problems. It doesn’t do anything to preserve the integrity of our election system,” Mock said. “It creates additional burdens for people in our state. We want them to vote, yet this is one more factor to keep them from casting their vote on Election Day.”

The bill does require the Department of Transportation to provide a free identification to anyone without a driver’s license.

But some concerns are whether college students and elderly people will be able to obtain an ID since they may not have a permanent residence or be physically able to pick up an ID.

The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Randy Boehning, R-Fargo, has said the DOT and university system will work with students and the elderly on issues that may arise.

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