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North Dakota House shoots down student IDs for voting

“I Voted” stickers are ready for voters to take after they hand in their ballots. Forum file photo

BISMARCK -- The North Dakota House rejected a bill backed by Democratic lawmakers on Thursday, Jan. 31, that sought to allow the state's college students to use university-issued identification to vote.

House Bill 1479 would have required colleges and universities to provide students with an identification card that could be scanned by a polling clerk to access their address in the state's central voter file. It failed in a 78-13 vote that almost entirely fell along party lines.

Rep. Matt Eidson, D-Grand Forks, was the bill's primary sponsor.

Minot Republican Rep. Scott Louser noted the U.S. Supreme Court declined to take up a challenge to North Dakota's voter ID law last year. The state's laws have been the subject of lawsuits that argue they disproportionately burden Native Americans.

State law requires a North Dakota driver’s license, a nondriver’s ID card, a tribal ID or a long-term care certificate to vote at the polls. It allows voters to use supplemental documentation, such as a utility bill or bank statement, to prove their eligibility.

John Hageman

John Hageman covers North Dakota politics from the Forum News Service bureau in Bismarck. He attended the University of Minnesota in the Twin Cities, where he studied journalism and political science, and he previously worked at the Grand Forks Herald and Bemidji Pioneer.  

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