ACLU of North Dakota Opposes Additional Barriers to Voting

February 12, 2021 8:30 am

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Legislators should want to make voting easier for their constituents, not harder.

But that’s exactly what some North Dakota lawmakers are doing with House Bill 1289.

The ACLU of North Dakota opposes House Bill 1289, legislation that would significantly extend the amount of time a person must reside in the state and their precinct before becoming eligible to vote. Doing so would disenfranchise many North Dakotans, including new residents, new military base employees, college students, Native Americans, and low-income people.

“Voting is a fundamental right of our democracy and North Dakota has long prided itself on its lack of voter registration – a fact that makes the state unique and eliminates unnecessary barriers to voting. But House Bill 1289 undermines the state’s low-regulation approach to voting without reason or need,” said Libby Skarin, ACLU of North Dakota campaigns director. “The decisions made at every level of government affect the lives of all of us. All North Dakotans deserve a say in their representation, regardless of whether they just moved to the state, move frequently because of their income level or are college students.”

House Bill 1289 comes on the heels of dozens of other election-related bills that would impose additional barriers on North Dakota voters, including House Bill 1312, which would eliminate the state’s policy of no-questions-asked absentee voting, and House Bill 1373, which would shrink the window for early voting by up to half of the current timeframe. Similar bills have been introduced across the country after rampant conspiracy theories and doubts about the results of the 2020 presidential election.

House Bill 1289 is scheduled to be heard in the House Government and Veterans Affairs Committee today. The ACLU of North Dakota provided written testimony in opposition, available here:…

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