Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem’s office is in the process of defending North Dakota’s voter ID laws from a legal challenge.
Those laws were enjoined by a federal judge shortly before the 2016 election, and the judge required that the state go back to allowing people without ID’s as long as they sign affidavits saying they are, in fact, legal and eligible voters.
But the reason why lawmakers got rid of those affidavits is that it’s pretty much impossible to verify them. That process allowed for potentially fraudulent voters to cast ballots which count, which can decide elections, with no mechanism to remedy an election outcomes which might not be legitimate.
In fact, in a memo arguing in favor of the court dissolving the injunction of the voter ID law, Deputy Solicitor General James Nicolai points out that Senator Heidi Heitkamp’s very narrow election day victory over Republican Rick Berg in 2012 “could not be verified.”