Audio: Group Suing North Dakota Over Voter ID Law Explains Lawsuit

voter id

On Friday while guest hosting for Jay Thomas on WDAY AM970 I interviewed attorney Matthew Campbell from the Native American Rights Fund (audio above). They’re the folks who are suing North Dakota over our state’s voter ID laws.

You can read my previous comments, as well as a copy of what they served on Secretary of State Al Jaeger last week, right here.

I wasn’t terribly impressed with Campbell’s defense of the suit. He and his group are claiming, on behalf of a group of Native American voters in the state, that the voter ID requirements are too arduous for those who are poor and don’t already have a driver’s license and live a long way from the nearest DMV office where a non-driver ID card can be obtained.

I asked him if he knew how many people in North Dakota actually fall into that category – my feeling is it’s a pretty low number – and he, well, didn’t know.

I thought this listener got it right in a Twitter response:

In response to my previous post on this subject, however, I’ve gotten some feedback from SAB readers who are arguing that the NARF suit has one thing right. They say that the voter ID law is unconstitutional because it goes beyond the voting requirements set out in the state constitution.

Specifically those in Article II, Section 1:


The Legislature cannot, through statute, expand upon qualifications established in the state constitution. If the state constitution says that voting qualifications are age 18 and North Dakota residency, then the Legislature cannot require more.

Except it seems absurd to argue that the Legislature cannot require verification that a given voter meets the constitutional requirements. Otherwise, what good are the constitutional requirements?