MINOT, N.D. — Much like many other parts of our nation, here in North Dakota we've had a raging, years-long debate about voter ID requirements and election fraud.
Republicans have promoted reasonable reforms to North Dakota's balloting process, which, absent the need for registration, is probably the most convenient method of voting in the country.
Democrats, meanwhile, have consistently insisted that the Republicans are out to suppress voters and that initiatives against vote fraud, such as ID requirements, are a waste of time.
During the 2018 election cycle, in need of a sensational talking point to rile up North Dakota's left-wing voters in favor of then-Sen. Heidi Heitkamp's deeply uninspiring campaign, our state's voter ID laws became a national talking point. Democrats insisted that those dastardly Republicans crafted voter ID laws to specifically disenfranchise Native American voters and deny Heitkamp another term in the U.S. Senate.
The courts allowed the ID requirements to stand, and turnout in our tribal communities broke records anyway because, in reality, nothing the Republican-led Legislature did with ID requirements made it all that hard to vote for anyone.
Our Native American neighbors included.
One might conclude that Heitkamp and the Democrats painting North Dakota as an ugly, racist place was motivated by nothing more than a desire for fundraising advantages and political momentum.
Let's fast-forward to 2020, where we have the hilarious spectacle of North Dakota Democrats — who, again, have long insisted that vote fraud isn't an issue — mired in a situation where the only workable way to maintain the eligibility of a statewide candidate is perhaps to admit that she cast a fraudulent vote in Nevada.
I'm talking about the Travisia Martin saga.
Martin is campaigning for Insurance Commissioner against Republican incumbent Jon Godfread. To be eligible for that office, one must have five consecutive years of residency in North Dakota before Election Day.
Martin voted in Nevada during the 2016 election, something which, by law, requires residency in that state.
Martin insists that her vote in Nevada was legal. If true, she cannot be eligible for the ballot this year in North Dakota.
Short of the courts striking down North Dakota's residency requirement as unconstitutional, it seems to this observer that the only way for Martin to keep herself on the ballot is to cop to an illegal vote in Nevada.
Except, according to our Democratic friends, only racists who want to suppress minority voters believe that sort of thing happens.
A challenge to Martin's candidacy is currently under consideration at the state Supreme Court. I've have sworn off prognostications for the judicial outcomes, so I won't hazard a guess as to what they'll do with this issue.
In the meantime, we can all have a chuckle at the expense of our liberal friends marching into the November election with egg all over their faces.
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Rob Port, founder of SayAnythingBlog.com, is a Forum Communications commentator. Reach him on Twitter at @robport or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.