North Dakota Republicans are focused on voter laws. Approximately twenty proposals have been introduced that would impact future North Dakota elections. While some appear to minor changes, others appear to take a false national narrative and partisan conspiracies from other state’s voting processes. That is no excuse for subjecting North Dakotans to new laws. Why is it that when North Dakota Republican legislators feel they were wronged somehow, they try change the rules going forward?

Let’s take a trip back to 2013. After Heidi Heitkamp upset Rick Berg to become North Dakota’s U.S. Senator, the Republican legislature set out to change the state’s voting laws. They created a form of voter ID that made voting more difficult for our Native American neighbors, and college students. The state has been forced to walk some of that back following court rulings. That year – 2013 – they changed the rules because of a result in our state they didn’t like.

In 2021, they’re again trying to change voting rules. This time many proposals are because they don’t like the national result of the Presidential election. This is the latest example that many Republican lawmakers are trying to take up national issues instead of facing down state-level challenges. Donald Trump won North Dakota. Handily. NDGOP candidates swept every single statewide office. Handily. They won every single legislative race except for three in North Fargo. They accomplished this without raising any concern about the voting process in our state. What more could they possibly want?

Below you’ll find the bill number and a brief description of some of the election-related proposals. You can click on the number to view the bill draft. Notice the recurring sponsors on these bills.

Bills introduced to impact future elections in North Dakota.

1119– Requires the full and complete text of a ballot measure to be printed on the ballot

1161 – All ballots much be completed within 30 minutes of the last ballot being handed out at a polling location

1171 – Governor cannot reduce the number of polling places as part of a declared emergency

1173 – Requires the full and complete text of a ballot measure to be printed on the ballot

1182 – Allows nonpartisan races (city, county, school board, etc.) will designate party affiliation on the ballot

1189 – If a ballot isn’t completed within 90 minutes of the polls closed, that ballot would be a provisional ballot

1198  – Governor can’t reduce the number of polling places as part of a declared emergency

1238 – Requires a minimum of one polling location open in each legislative district during a statewide election, unless a vote center is being utilized

1253 – A robust bill with many changes including another 30 minute time limit to vote

1256 – Governor can’t make financial contributions to legislative candidates and organizations can’t donate to help with election costs

1289 – A voter must be a resident for a year before you can vote. Current law is 30 days

1312 – Greatly limits who can vote by mail or absentee

1360 – All ballots must be numbered and digitally scanned to be made available to the public for review

1490 – Governor can’t make financial contributions

3003 – Only one subject may be allowed per Constitutional amendment

3018 – Only one subject may be allowed per initiated measure

2160 – Does not allow a voter to request a mail or absentee ballot for more than one election that year. An application must be completed for each election.

2193 – Governor can’t adjust election processes as part of a declared emergency

4005 – Requires 60% vote of the legislature to send a Constitutional amendment to the voters and requires 60% approval from the voters in order for a Constitutional amendment to pass.

Tyler Axness
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