It is easier and more voter-friendly to vote in North Dakota than in nearly every other state. That’s not speculation. It’s the conclusion of organizations and analysts that examine voting systems in the United States. North Dakota, which does not require prior voter registration and has a minuscule incidence of voter fraud, always ranks very well.
It is curious, therefore, to hear North Dakota State University students (and students from other campuses) whine about how “discouraging” they find the process. The poor babies. Some of them don’t like reasonable and necessary requirements to prove who they are and where they live. They apparently want to be able to waltz into a polling place without a proper photo ID that shows they live in the county, city, state or precinct where they want to vote.
The fact is voting requirements in North Dakota are not hurdles to voting. They are simple and straightforward rules to assure voters and election officials that voters are in the right place on Election Day. Moreover, there are all sorts of options for identification that students and others can use to meet voting requirements – if they want to.
North Dakota students without the right ID on their driver’s licenses have options. They can summon the energy to change their driver’s license ID address to their college town address. They can do that online. If they opt not to make the change, they can vote by absentee ballot in their hometowns. Out-of-state students have the same options. It’s not rocket science.
Indeed, the same voter ID requirements apply to anyone who moves from one town to another, from another state to North Dakota, say for a job in Fargo’s booming health care sector or in the west’s oil country.
If students really are serious about voting, they will plan ahead and have the right documentation in hand before Election Day. It’s not a process to undertake on Election Day. The Secretary of State’s Office and Cass County election officials have all the information a voter needs, and both are continuing voter education initiatives that make it all very clear.
But a potential voter has the responsibility to get it right. Students or others who chronically complain about the system should not be led by the hand like kiddies to a playground. They are, after all, adults. The best and the brightest, we’re told.
Kinda makes you wonder …
Editorials represent the opinion of Forum management and the newspaper’s Editorial Board.