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Letter: New voter ID law is flawed

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A $700,000 “Easy as Pie” campaign by Republican Secretary of State Al Jaeger can’t change the fact that the new Voter ID law passed by the Republican supermajority deliberately targets thousands of North Dakotans, especially the elderly, the disabled, college students and Native Americans.

The fact that 10,000 voters had to use the fail-safe affidavit provision to protect their right to vote in the 2012 general election reflects Jaeger’s failure to properly educate voters. But the new law kills that fail-safe provision of signing an affidavit at the polls if there is a problem with a voter’s identification.

Now an elderly or disabled person living at home who does not have a state Department of Transportation-issued identification is now restricted to voting by absentee. Don’t bother to take your elderly parents to the polls without identification. They will be turned away, as was the case in the recent Fargo special election. But even to vote by absentee ballot, there are more onerous hoops to jump through. Voters must now seek out an “attester,” make a copy of the attester’s identification, fill out an absentee ballot application, submit both to the auditor, wait for the ballot to be sent to them, properly sign documents, mail it in and, if they fail to check the appropriate box on the application, they will have to jump the hoops for both the primary and general elections.

This is outrageous and un-North Dakotan, but typical under one-party Republican rule.

Bob Valeu, Chairman, North Dakota Democratic-NPL Party

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