North Dakota lawmakers approved legislation Tuesday clarifying the acceptable forms of voter identification.
But one state representative from Grand Forks said the bill does little to make it easier for students and others who had trouble casting a ballot at the polls last November.
The final legislation doesn't include a provision from the bill's introduction that would have allowed bills, bank statements and change-of-address forms to be used to help prove residency. It also removes the ability for students to use identification certificates issued by their university.
Under House Bill 1333, valid forms of ID will be a current driver's license or nondriver's ID card issued by the state Department of Transportation, an official tribal ID, a long-term care certificate prescribed by the secretary of state, or a current military ID card or passport.
"I think this helps clarify that people who are legal residents of the state of North Dakota will be able to vote," said Rep. Jim Kasper, R-Fargo.
The House agreed with the Senate amendments Tuesday and passed the bill 68-23, with three members absent or not voting. The governor still must sign the bill before it becomes law.
State Rep. Kylie Oversen, D-Grand Forks, said the bill "limits" the ability for students and others to vote if they don't have an updated driver's license. Some students reported trouble voting in November after changes made to voter ID laws in the last legislative session.
"I don't think we adequately addressed that problem," said Oversen, a University of North Dakota law student who represents the UND campus area of Grand Forks. "We just need to make sure students are fully informed of what is expected of them when they show up to the polls."
A North Dakota State University study found that about 3 percent of college students in North Dakota who tried to vote in November were "unable to participate due to confusion over residency requirements."
Donnell Preskey Huska, who represented the North Dakota County Auditors Association during debate over the bill, said the bill adds some clarity to election law.
"It clarifies our voting requirements, it makes it easier to follow," she said. "As long as citizens are changing their address when they move, doing everything by the law, they should have no problem voting in the next election."
Michael Montplaisir, the Cass County auditor, said there may have been some "mixed messages" during the last election about acceptable forms of ID.
"I think what they ended up passing is very clear," he said. "Now it's just a matter of communicating it."
(Mike Nowatzki contributed to this report.)
"I think this helps clarify that people who are legal residents of the state of North Dakota will be able to vote."
Rep. Jim Kasper, R-Fargo.