Federal Appeals Court Allows North Dakota ID Law Heitkamp Described a “Suppression” to Be Enforced


Voters at Holy Family Catholic Church in Grand Forks fill out their ballots early Tuesday for the North Dakota primary election. photo by Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald

According to a release from Secretary of State Al Jaeger’s office, today the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals issued a stay of a previous ruling in a lawsuit challenging North Dakota’s voter identification law. Previously the federal courts had ruled that North Dakota’s law, which said that only ID’s could be used to vote, couldn’t be enforced and that elected officials would have to allow an expanded list of identifiers from voters.

But now, per the 8th Circuit, the state’s law can be enforced this election cycle.

The full ruling is below. This, from Jaeger’s release:

The District Court had ruled that election officials were to accept forms of identification and supplemental documents that included a current mailing address, such as post office box, rather than only identification with a current residential street address.

However, this created a challenge for poll workers in providing the correct ballot to a voter because a voter’s post office box could be in a precinct that is different from the voter’s residential street address. It also would have allowed an out-of-state resident having a North Dakota post office box to vote in state elections.

Now, with the stay in place, the upcoming November election can be conducted according to current state law that was updated by the 2017 Legislative Assembly.

There will probably be some blow back from Democrats. Senator Heidi Heitkamp, who is behind in the polls in her re-election campaign, has described North Dakota’s ID law as “suppression,” though that’s not something she spent a lot of time talking about prior to the election year.

Anyway, for voters, if you’re looking for info on what you need to vote, click here to get the up-to-date information.

Here’s the full opinion:

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