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Voter ID’s and Disenfranchisement: There is no voter fraud, just vote suppression

Screen Shot 2013-02-18 at 6.43.43 PMI wanted to share a post from a seat mate and fellow Government & Veterans Affairs (GVA) committee member – Representative Marie Strinden.  In the past two weeks GVA has moved into the last of the bills we’ll be hearing – all either relate to changes in voter laws or ethics.  Marie sat down this weekend, pulled each of the voter bills and created a complete timeline and description of each – just click here or on Marie’s photo for a full read on the topic.

It’s hard to believe we’re even talking about this in North Dakota!  I mean seriously…   changing voter laws on the basis that fraud could happen?  But, to be sure!  If passed, these bills could affect how we vote in North Dakota going forward.  There is a slim chance they could get killed in the Senate, but those of us with front row seats would rather NOT take that chance.  We’d like to see them killed in the House and be done with this ridiculous idea before it has a chance to take hold. 

The logic behind this?  Near as we can tell, it’s a “Father Knows Best” mentality.  There is no evidence of voter fraud in North Dakota (one voter out of 10.519 affidavits has not yet been confirmed) and our own official voting “experts” are dismissed as we’re told the potential exists, so therefor it must be corrected.  And, as you’ll see in Marie’s detailing of the bills in question, one in particular hasn’t even been provided with the benefit of a public hearing.

So – what can be done?

1.  Right now, stop what you’re doing and share this post/message.  We need to get this out to as many people as possible – as quickly as possible.

2.  Go to the state website www.legis.nd.gov and find your district representative.  Every representative is listed by district, along with their contact information on this site.

3.  Email them.  Let them know this breach of public trust is UNACCEPTABLE!  Remind them they work for YOU – not a party, and certainly not any national interest groups.

4.  Then, for every person who reads this or Marie’s posts – SHARE them out again!  Get it on facebook and twitter.  Share it out via email or blogs.  But, please – we HAVE to get this in the hands of the people who can make the greatest impact…..       YOU!

Stay tuned.  We’ll be sure to post how these play out on the House Floor – or tune in yourself.  By going to that same state website, you can watch the video streamed live, or you can catch the videos later.  Just click on the video calendar to catch any past session in either the House or the Senate.

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4 Comments Post a comment
  1. andy peterson #

    Gail – First, thank you for your concern. However, I appreciate the need to verify my identity whenever I use my credit card, go to the doctor’s office, board a plane, and so forth. I don’t find it a stretch to show my identification when I vote. I think the concern comes in what kind of identification one can use. If it is a utility bill, driver’s license, identity card or some ubiqitious identification that is safe, secure, and easily attained then I am for this concept. Open and fair elections are the bedrock of democracy.

    Again, thanks for the post.

    Andy

    February 19, 2013
    • Hi Andy! And, you know, both Marie and I stated in committee that we might not be opposed to this concept either – but, some of this simply feels too much, too soon. And, with no public hearing on the one amendment for HB 1332 (which would have some of the greatest affects) – I have particular concerns.

      I’m all for open and fair elections, but in all of these cases we’re saying there is an issue with no evidence to that point. And, yes, for you and I to be sure we have our driver’s license available, doesn’t seem like a big deal. But, there is an entire population of people out there who may fall into cracks. Again – if we were considering an approach of education first, implementation later – I might reconsider. But, we’re not. In each of these cases it is implementation first, education later.

      Sorry Andy. I just don’t like it.

      February 19, 2013
  2. Paul Geray #

    I understand that there is no real problem with voting in ND. But I also see no problem with having to show an ID when you vote. I see your reasons against the ID as really not holding water. As long as the state makes these IDs free to the voters I don’t think it would be a problem.

    February 19, 2013
    • Well, again Paul, in principal I don’t have a problem with this either. My problem is with the push to get it through in a hurry. If we were going to pass a resolution to look at the voting laws in ND as they pertain to IDs with the intent of coming forward in the 2015 session with changes to move toward Voter ID, I wouldn’t have a problem with it. This would allow the time to be absolutely sure that NO voter is overlooked or disenfranchised – and to address not only HOW they get these IDs, but when, where, etc. Some of the people we discussed at great length in commmittee were the elderly in long term care (their addresses aren’t always the same as their ID), universtiy students (their IDs almost never relate to their actual address) and the homeless (who don’t have an address). While we all agreed that there can certainly be mechanisms put into place that would address all of these situations, the fact is that there may be other people negatively affected and it seems the responsible thing to make sure of all cause and affects before launching into these changes.

      So, no. I still say we should better understand and have all the right people at the table when making any changes to a person’s ability to vote. While these changes may be appropriate for 21st Century standards, how we do this, and when we do this, matters. As it stands, it seems we’re rushing to make changes without fully realizing either the why – or the affects.

      February 19, 2013

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