North Dakota Senate Passes Tougher Voter ID Law


The North Dakota Senate today passed HB1332 on a 30-16 vote. The bill would toughen the state’s voter ID laws, requiring an ID to vote (or the ID of someone who is vouching for another voter). According to Democrats, this will disenfranchise legitimate elderly and minority voters to solve a non-existent problem. According to Republicans, the problem is only “non-existent” in so far as there’s really not a lot being done to detect voter fraud now, and even if there isn’t fraud now what’s the harm in protecting against fraud in the future?

Here’s video of the floor debate:

I thought the best comment came Senator Erbele who pointed out that voters have two years between general elections to get their ID situation squared away. The idea that this requirement is too onerous is a little ridiculous.

Rob Port is the editor of In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters.

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  • whowon

    The Democrats made fools of themselves. What if your driver’s license is expired? “We’ll it is your responsibility to renew it, hope you didn’t drive to the poll to vote.”

    • Thresherman

      To a average person, this is not much of an encumbrance, almost negligible in fact. So then you have to ask; why do the Democrats oppose it so vehemently?

      • Lianne

        You would think they would be demanding it to stop the republicans from voting multiple times! ;-)

  • headward

    So this bill will give poor and elderly people a free ID. Why do Democrats hate poor people?!

    • headward

      Maybe we should have background checks for voters and a week waiting period. Voting is a right just like owning a gun.

      • Rick Olson

        Exactly. Maybe this would produce voters who really know what they are voting about!

    • WOOF

      Only if they appear at bureaucrats temples and dance with archival papers.

  • Jeff

    I had to show my ID to vote last November; and have for many prior elections. What has changed?

    • RCND

      You could sign an affidavit before if you forgot it. Your vote would be counted alongside everyone elses, even if they found you were not eligible once they checked.

    • whowon

      We always have to show one in Bismarck too, my husband was shocked we didn’t already have a law! As one Senator said, a good opportunity for both sides of the aisle to make sure all of their voters have ID’s. Kind of a no brainer.

  • Anon

    Thus solving a problem that didn’t exist (and also conveniently making it harder for traditionally Democratic voting blocs to vote, as the few reasoned Republicans have admitted was the real motivation for such laws

    • Thresherman

      “traditionally Democratic voting blocs” = Illegal aliens, felons and the dearly departed.

      When he set himself up like that, I couldn’t resist.

      • Anon

        Apparently in Thresherman’s mind, african americans, other minorities, and the disadvantaged are all illegal aliens, felons, or dead.

        Even when making a joke, Thresherman can’t resist showing his latent racism and hate.

        • spud

          Traditional republican voter old white guy with his head up his ass. Funny how this was never a problem until republicans realized there traditional voting bloc didn’t add up to electoral victory anymore in national elections.

          • camsaure

            Are you trying to say that liberal/progressive/socialists/dead/illegals are just plainly too stupid to figure out how to get an ID? You wouldn’t want your side to win by any underhanded means, would you? HMMM

        • tony_o2

          In your mind, “african americans, other minorities, and the disadvantaged” are somehow incapable of obtaining identification. Tell us why you think they can’t complete such a simple task.

          • Anon

            Not in my mind, in reality, which you and many Conservatives love to deny.

            “African Americans have driver’s licenses at half the rate of whites, and the disparity increases among younger voters; only 22% of black men aged 18-24 had a valid driver’s license. Not only are minority voters less likely to possess photo ID, but they are also more likely than white voters to be selectively asked for ID at the polls.”

          • Thresherman

            So I guess none of those African-Americans without drivers licenses smoke or drink alcohol either as an ID is required for their purchase as well.

          • Anon

            And nobody’s arguing it’s not possible to obtain identification, but that placing an increased burden on voters when there is for all intents and purposes extremely little fraud in the country, especially when people barely vote as it is. Someone without identification is more likely to chose not vote than obtain a proper id. The costs of the measure are disproportionate to the benefits, which either means you suck at policy making or your true intent is not preventing fraud but preventing Democratic votes.

        • Thresherman

          I guess when the rest of were getting a sense of humor, Anon was back in line getting a second helping of indignation.

          Good thing I never added Jay Leno;s joke about the AP not using the tern illegal aliens anymore, saying instead the new term will be “undocumented Democrat”. He probably would have gone ballistic in his racism charges.

    • whowon

      real motivation, prove who you are and that you live in the State. So hard for some to understand, Palmbeachpost? LOL, who cares what they think?

      • Anon

        It’s a link to the former GOP Governor admitting Florida’s voter id laws were motivated by suppressing the Democratic vote, but typical conservative is to attack the messenger when they don’t like the facts.

        • whowon

          Guess I find it BS, wanting people to prove they are eligible to vote is the issue. Tough for some who believe it is anything else.

          • Anon

            You keep telling yourself, even though such measures prevent far more legitimate voters from voting than fraudulent ones.

          • two_amber_lamps

            Way to reference a leftist madrasa like Harvard to buttress your statist argument Gusty/Guest/Anon/imposteroffiveyearoldgirlonMNareahockeyblogs!

          • Thresherman

            The thing he forgets is that if we find one Democrat who says that the reason for their objection to voter ID laws is to pack the polls, then by his own reasoning his argument is invalid,

        • whowon

          link doesn’t work…hmmm….wonder why?
          The page could not be found

      • WOOF

        Allen West

        • whowon

          Love Allen West, are you a bigot Woof?

          • two_amber_lamps

            Woof? A bigot? Some things never change….

  • Rick Olson

    I don’t see how a voter I.D. law disenfranchises certain people. If someone doesn’t have a drivers license; there is always the option of obtaining a non-driver identification card. I’m asked to present my drivers license every time I go to vote here in Fargo, and I have no problem with showing it. Here in Cass County, poll workers take your drivers license and scan the barcode on the back of your license. This ascertains whether or not you have voted already (early voting or absentee) and guards against people from voting twice.

    You need a drivers license to open a bank account, apply for a job, cash a check, purchase certain items like tobacco and alcohol, and obtain public assistance. Asking to see someone’s I.D. is very commonplace. In the retail sector, I ask people for their drivers licenses all the time and there never is a fuss about it. But, when people get asked to show I.D. at the polls…all heck breaks loose!

    North Dakota’s current voter I.D. law needed to be tightened up. Hopefully, it will pass constitutional muster — given how the Eric Holder-led U.S. Department of Justice has been scrutinizing all voter I.D. laws across the nation.

    • borborygmi

      I guess I assumed how they did it in Fargo was state law.

  • Thresherman

    I would think that we would want informed and responsible voters, if you cannot obtain a drivers license or a free state ID by the next election what would that make you?

    • WOOF

      Carry the Mark of the Beast with you, don’t demand it of others to vote.
      Identification valid for obtaining a drivers license should be good enough for voting.
      Involving the Devil’s Dept of Motor Vehicles is a bow to the Federal database.

      Birchers wailed over the usurpation of freedom by National ID registration.
      Now Thresherman begs for it.

      • Thresherman

        That is so stupid I hardly know where to begin, but it is interesting to see that WOOF now considers the Democrats aligned with the John Birch Society.

    • Rick Olson

      A slacker. Plain and simple.

  • Roy_Bean

    It’s interesting to listen to the democrats tell us that background checks to buy firearms are simple, easy and quick but pulling out an ID to vote is oppressive. To listen to their gun control logic, we should be able to do an instant background check at the polls, but to listen to their voter ID logic it must be nearly impossible for a poor elderly rural resident to buy a gun. It can’t be both. Which is it?

  • two_amber_lamps

    The same “old people” who are allegedly disenfranchised by such a law are by in large the principle writers of checks… and last time I checked you need a minimum of at least one from of ID to write/cash a check.

    You need ID to open a checking account, you need a checking account to receive a SS electronic disbursement.

    The left is just chock-full of lies.

  • jimmypop

    i think making laws for problems that don’t exist is insane….. we need to make a law protecting us from our local law enforcement helping martians stealing out guns. just in case.

    but with that said i am curious how the vote totals around ndsu will be changed next election. id be unhappy to be wrong…very unhappy…. for if i am wrong, weve been getting lied to for years. i am hoping that nothing will change and these people look foolish for inventing problems.

  • schreib

    We already have to show an ID to vote.

  • Guest

    North Dakota is also unique in that we’re the only state which does not require voter registration. This is an issue which comes up at almost every legislative session, and the state’s chief elections officer, Secretary of State Al Jaeger has always been on record in opposing a statewide system of voter registration.

    Jaeger cites the costs of implementing and maintaining a voter registration system in the state. What he’s missing is this. The framework is already in place. The state has a master roster of voters already. This would merely involve implementing a process which would coordinate each of the county auditor’s offices with the secretary of state’s office relative to voter information, crosschecking, etc.

    In most states, it’s a very unobtrusive process. You fill out a postcard-sized application and drop it off at or mail it in to your county auditor’s office. How simple is that? This ensures that the official voter rolls are kept up to date.

    In South Dakota, for example, the deadline to register is 15 days prior to any election. In two or three states, Minnesota included, voters may register at the polls on election day.

    In most states that require voter registration, if someone hasn’t registered prior to the deadline, then they cannot vote in the upcoming election. It is not disenfranchisement, because it is understood that if you want to vote, then you have to register by the deadline.

    • Thresherman

      Well, but what about those disadvantaged that don’t have a calender? Clearly that is racist because there are African-Americans without calenders you know.

      Sarc. off.

  • ND in MD

    To obtain a library card at the Grand Forks Public Library, I had to show an ID card, is this racist? The library requires a card not only to checks out books, CDs, DVDs, etc. but you can not even use the Library’s computer without a card. Is this racist? Without a library card, poor people and the edlerly are being denied access to computers and the internet. This limits their ability to gain knowledge, and to serch and apply for jobs. Why does the Grand Forks public library hate the poor and elderly?

    • Goon

      I guess poor people won’t be able to read at the library either?

  • Goon

    The reason the left complains about voter ID laws and registrations is that their “illegal” Democratic voters are the ones that usually get caught in these things.

  • meh

    I lean to the left on the political spectrum, but it is hard for me why democrats are opposed to voter id. Other states have done it without too many complications.