North Dakota Republicans in the Legislature are trying to impose new restrictions on voting. Residency, polling places, a time limit to how long a person is allowed to vote, and limitations to absentee voting are all being proposed. What more could they want? They hold every single statewide office and have increased their supermajority status in the legislature. They accomplished that on the very rules currently in place they created over the years. All of it without incident of mass voter fraud according to the Republican Secretary of State. Is there something they fear from voters?

House Bill 1298 sets new requirements for voters to be eligible to participate in North Dakota elections. A voter must be a resident of the state for at least one year and live in their precinct for 90 days before the election. Currently, a voter needs to establish residence 30 days before the election. Are these guys afraid people will flood into legislative districts from out-of-state to vote against them and change election outcomes? Where exactly does the concern rest for this proposed change?

HB 1298 is sponsored by Rep. Jeff Magrum (R-Hazelton). It seems he has taken some issue with ND’s election process and campaign finances. At least he has an issue with one wealthy donor’s influence. Magrum is also behind the attempt to strip Governors – read as Doug Burgum -from the ability to donate to legislative races and make endorsements.

Ironically, Rep. Terry Jones (R-New Town) cosponsored the new residency requirement bill. Jones’s own residency was questioned during the 2020 election. Was he a North Dakota resident or a Wyoming resident where he was a registered agent? To be a registered agent in Wyoming, you must also be a resident. As Mike McFeely pointed out, when Jones wrote a letter riddled with conspiracy theories about the 2020 presidential election, he sent it not only to ND’s delegation, but also Wyoming’s delegation. That’s an odd look.

As I said, there are a number of other election-related bills introduced in the 67th legislative session. NDx will follow many of them. Expect the disinformation of mass voter fraud of the 2020 presidential election to be the excuse to change ND voting laws in this legislative session.

  • Rep. Jeff Magrum

  • Rep. Terry Jones

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