On my radio show today state Rep. Josh Boschee, a Democrat from District 44 who has announced a campaign for Secretary of State, joined me to talk about seeking statewide office.
Not surprisingly, he jabbed Republican incumbent Al Jaeger over a lack of progress toward modernizing his office.
“He’s depending on a 1985 version of how to verify voters,” Boschee told me when we were discussing the state’s voter ID laws. I pointed out filings made by North Dakota Attorney General’s Office, aimed at lifting an injunction against the state’s current voter ID policy, which describes election results which can be verified because thousands and thousands of votes made with no identification other than an affidavit weren’t reviewed.
Boschee says a better, more modern process could address concerns over those affidavits. He also said he voted against the voter ID law currently before the courts.
I also asked him about the on-going battle over the rights to minerals under Lake Sakajawea. The Secretary of State has a seat on North Dakota’s Land Board which is at the heart of that issue, so it could be an issue in the campaign. During their 2017 session the Legislature passed a bill to make it clear that the state is not claiming any mineral rights under the lake aside from those under the historic channel of the Missouri River.
Boschee said he opposed that bill, but is rethinking his position.
“I voted against that bill in the session based on what I knew then,” he said adding that he’s been talking with an attorney representing some of the private citizens who are fighting the state for ownership of the minerals.
Grand Forks Herald publisher Korrie Wenzel also joined me to talk about his paper’s feud with Governor Doug Burgum over visits to that community.
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