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Bill would move to disenfranchise

Bill would move to disenfranchise

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The North Dakota Legislature has joined a national movement led by conservatives to disenfranchise voters.

House Bill 1447 would put undue burdens on voters, poll workers, county auditors and recorders and canvassing boards in a state that has prided itself on free and open access to the ballot box.

It would especially impact student, poor and transient voters and that is the intent of at least one of the bill's sponsors.

In addition to costing a voter his right, implementation will unnecessarily waste money.

According to the Cass County auditor, there were 2,300 voter affidavits completed in the last election during a low turnout year. After subsequent routine follow-up, only one voter was determined to have a questionable address.

HB1447 would require that each affidavit and ballot be tracked individually and, if a voter doesn't jump through some additional hoops in a few days, it would be disallowed even though valid.

This bill passed the House by a 3-to-1 margin and it will probably pass in the Senate, led by a similar majority.

Another example of smaller government? It is only one issue on a national agenda of actions in state legislative assemblies.

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