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Letter: League of Women Voters opposes ND legislation aimed at restricting voting rights

This year the the North Dakota State Legislature has introduced multiple bills to restrict voting rights.

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For over 100 years the League of Women Voters has worked to promote and protect voting rights for all citizens. This year the North Dakota Legislature has introduced multiple bills to restrict voting rights.

The League of Women Voters of North Dakota strongly opposes House Bill 1312 and House Bill 1289 . If passed, these bills would restrict the voting rights of North Dakotans.

HB 1312 places restrictions on who is eligible to vote by absentee ballot. Currently, any eligible voter can vote by absentee ballot. The proposed legislation would impact anyone who wants or needs to vote by mail for any reason. The proposed bill limits those who are eligible to vote absentee to a list of qualifying events or conditions. It worked well in 2020 when the decision to vote in person or absentee was made by the voter, not by some codified list of exceptions.

The second bill opposed by the League of Women Voters for North Dakota is HB 1289. This bill increases the residency requirements for voting to one year to be eligible to vote. Currently, the only residency requirement is living 30 days within a precinct to vote in it. The proposed bill would also expand this time frame to living 90 days within a precinct. The proposed bill could impact the recruitment of out-of-state workers who find out they cannot vote in an election year, the voting participation of any new North Dakota residents, North Dakotans moving to a new precinct within a few months prior to an election, and college students.

The League of Women Voters of North Dakota stands in opposition to this infringement on voting rights. We encourage all citizens to contact their state legislators in the House of Representatives to urge them to vote no. Citizens can find the name and contact information for their state legislators by visiting the North Dakota Legislature's website at www.legis.nd.gov and selecting the “Find My Legislators” link at the bottom of the page.

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Ashley Ladbury Hrichena, a board member at large, wrote the above letter with other members of the League of Women Voters.

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