North Dakota AG: Poll workers can’t demand citizenship proof
The North Dakota House of Representatives on Thursday passed a measure to prohibit poll workers from demanding citizenship or immigration papers from voters, one of the largest bills on the books across the state this year.
The bill will now advance to the state Senate.
A Republican-dominated House vote on the bill was largely symbolic, but Republicans did advance other bills this week.
House Speaker Greg Raymer said he hoped the bill would help voters in North Dakota.
“The federal government has a right to demand that state governments follow their own laws, but not to impose those laws on our state,” Raymer said. “I’m hopeful this will change the way that election officials conduct this business.”
The new law comes after a similar measure was passed in New Hampshire in March. That law didn’t go into effect until Nov. 1, after the presidential election.
The House bill would also have made it a crime to impersonate someone in a voting booth by “impersonation,” “false impersonation” or impersonation by “false appearance” or “falsely holding oneself out” during an election.
Raymer said the charges could be used to prosecute those who might try to commit voter fraud as well.
House Majority Leader Ryan Boeser, a Democrat, said he was disappointed this week that House Republicans could not pass a constitutional amendment allowing voters to cast a ballot without providing identification.
Boeser said it makes him worried about the impact state voters will face in November.
“This is a concern because people that don’t want to show their identification, they will have a harder time, because they won’t be able to cast a ballot or they will have trouble casting a ballot or having a ballot cast,” he said. “And so we have a problem that we have been struggling with before this election, and I think the federal government has a problem with this situation.”
Boeser said he is hopeful voters will act on the law in November.