New voter ID law hits close to home!

North Dakota’s new voter ID law went into effect in August of last year. I knew it was troublesome, but yesterday I realized just how difficult the law would be to enforce when I went to vote on the local Mill Levy for Fargo School District.

Here’s what happened: I stopped in at my polling place, Roosevelt Elementary School to cast my vote. As I approached the entry way to the voting location the poll worker asked if I would be voting today, I said yes. I was then instructed that to vote I needed a photo ID with my current address. Yes, I had my driver’s license with me. No, it did not show my current address (I’d recently moved, and hadn’t made it down to the Department of Transportation to have it changed). But I knew this before going to the poll, which is why I was armed with several pieces of mail (a bank statement, utilities bill, and my car insurance) to prove my address in Fargo.

And here’s the key thing about the new voter law: it doesn’t require voters to present photo ID. Instead an eligible voter can present a number of documents to make up the name, address, and birthdate requirements provided by the Secretary of State.Roblox HackBigo Live Beans HackYUGIOH DUEL LINKS HACKPokemon Duel HackRoblox HackPixel Gun 3d HackGrowtopia HackClash Royale Hackmy cafe recipes stories hackMobile Legends HackMobile Strike Hack

I presented the required materials and was turned away from the polls with a suggestion that I could travel all the way to the Department of Transportation office and update my current address so that it could be updated in the voter record, which, as the helpful poll worker said, would be immediate and would allow me to come back to vote later that same day. Okay, thanks. But what if I don’t have the time? A mild inconvenience perhaps, but it got me thinking of others who may have had a difficult time voting yesterday.

What if I didn’t have a driver’s license to begin with and I’m told to get a non-driver ID card. But then to obtain the non-driver ID card I need a birth certificate which I too, don’t have? And what if I am a college student who wants to fulfill my civic duty? Nope, can’t do it. I need a “student certificate” to vouch for me. What if I tried to use my tribal ID to vote and it didn’t contain my residential address? Again, I may have been turned away.

We haven’t even gotten to the June primary and problems have already started to surface. I can’t help but wonder what the purpose of this law is and why politicians want to make it so difficult to vote. The law is complicated and nuanced, so nuanced that poll workers are unsure of how to enforce the law.

All right, rant over. Here’s what I need from you, my fellow North Dakotans: if you had a difficult time voting yesterday, lodge a formal complaint with the Secretary of State at 701-328-4146 and tell them your story. I did it and it took a whole 5 minutes. These stories will help us to correct misinformation and ensure that eligible voters, like you and I, aren’t turned away at the polls.

Zach Packineau
Organizer, ACLU of North Dakota