Thousands of people from all over the country have camped in south central North Dakota to protest the Dakota Access Pipeline. Now, apparently, activists are looking to organize those people to vote in North Dakota’s upcoming election thanks to our state’s a) lack of voter registration and b) lax residency requirements:
Keep in mind that North Dakota’s voter ID requirements were struck down by a federal court recently as too stringent after a group of Native Americans from the Turtle Mountain Reservation filed a lawsuit. So now the state is back to allowing people to vote without an ID as long as they sign an affidavit indicating that they are qualified to vote.
As for residency, all you have to do is say you’ve been at your current address for 30 days and you’re good to go. It’s really that easy.
I’m honestly not sure how much impact this could have on elections in North Dakota. The Democrats have put up such a weak slate of statewide candidates this election cycle that it’s hard to imagine even a few thousand votes from these protesters making a difference. That could be a different matter locally, though Legislative District 31 where the protest is located isn’t on the ballot this cycle:
Even so, the idea that people with no more invested in our state than 30 days camping to protest a pipeline could influence our elections demonstrates why we need voter registration and stricter residency requirements.
There seems to be growing bi-partisan support for voter registration in North Dakota. It’s high time lawmakers started moving that ball down the field.
I have no problem with people who are against the pipeline voting in our elections. That’s democracy. I do have a problem with people from other parts of the country getting to vote in our state’s elections because they went on a camping trip.