State sets voting ID requirements

North Dakotans are encouraged to ensure they have valid voting identification to bring to the general election polls Nov. 6.

The same federal and state laws apply to all qualified electors of North Dakota with the exception that tribal members have more forms of identification and supplemental documents available to them for voting than do other qualified electors, according to the North Dakota Secretary of State.

Identification must include the voter’s name, current North Dakota residential address and date of birth. A driver’s license, nondriver’s identification card, tribal government-issued identification or long-term care certificate are acceptable forms of identification.

Free nondriver’s IDs are available at any drivers licensing facility.

To update a driver’s license or nondriver’s ID, people can use the North Dakota Department of Transportation website or call 328-4353. The license or identification card does not need to be replaced but the voter’s record will be updated in the voter database.

Federal law requires those with commercial driver’s licenses to appear at a Department of Transportation licensing facility to obtain a new license after moving to a new address.

The North Dakota Secretary of State’s Office offers a limited connection with the tribal ID database so if a tribal ID is updated, the voting record also can be updated with the tribal ID number, name, residential address and date of birth. Other information on the tribal ID is not transferred. This applies to tribal members whose tribal governments have chosen to participate.

If an individual lacks a physical residential address necessary to obtain an ID, an address can be provided by contacting the county’s 911 coordinator to start the free process of assigning an address. The phone number for the Ward County 911 coordinator is 857-6422. Phone numbers for other county coordinators can be obtained by calling the North Dakota Association of Counties at 328-7300.

There are some options for people who lack one of the valid identification forms when going to the polls.

If the information on an ID is incorrect, not current, missing or is a mailing address rather than a residential street address, the information may be supplemented by submitting documentation that contains the correct information to the election official distributing the ballot.

The supplementary documents that may be provided are a current utility bill, a current bank statement, a paycheck or other check or a document issued by a federal, state, local, or tribal government, including those issued by the Bureau of Indian Affairs for a tribe located in North Dakota, any other tribal agency or entity, or any other document that sets forth the tribal member’s name, date of birth, and current North Dakota residential address.

If an individual is unable to provide a valid ID or supplemental documentation, the individual’s ballot will be securely set aside and the individual will have until the date of the canvassing board meeting to provide valid identification to either a poll worker at the polling place or the county auditor. Canvassing boards will meet on or before Nov. 13.

On an absentee or mail ballot application, an attester who can provide his or her valid identification can attest to another applicant’s eligibility by signing the application.

People can visit the Vote.ND.Gov website for more information on voting in North Dakota.

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