North Dakota law is clear. It does not require a voter to have a photo ID before he or she is allowed to vote. However, an Associated Press story published on Sept. 2 may have left voters with a different understanding.
The Forum's headline was, "ID rule can confuse voters." The story stated "North Dakotans should not be required to bring photo identification to the polls." However, there is no such "rule" as the headline states.
Unlike many other states, North Dakota law allows voters to present several forms of identification to poll workers. These include a driver's license, a state issued ID card (for those who do not drive), a federal ID card, a tribal ID card, a student ID card, a utility bill, and a change of address verification from the postal service.
If a voter does not have one of these forms of identification, it is still possible for a poll worker to vouch for the voter (if he or she personally knows the person and where he or she lives) or the voter can complete a voter's affidavit certifying his or her address.
Voters unable to vote in person at the polls have the option of voting with an absentee ballot, which does not require a form of identification. It is with his or her signature that the voter certifies his or her residency.
Our state's governor, legislators and I, as the state's chief election officer, have done everything possible, through the laws that have been passed, to ensure that every one of our state's qualified citizens is given the opportunity to vote.
Therefore, if any person wanting to vote this coming November has questions, I urge him or her to contact his or her county auditor or my office. Extensive election information is also available on the secretary of state's Web site at www.nd.gov/sos.
Jaeger is North Dakota's secretary of state. E-mail email@example.com