ND voter glitch was minor
A dust-up over a minor glitch in last month's mid-term elections voting in North Dakota is more about politics than access to the ballot box.
A few problems arose when voters whose addresses had changed had not made the change on identification documents, most frequently a state driver's license. In some instances, voters were directed to licensing offices where the changes were promptly made. Others — again relatively few — opted to not make the change on Election Day and did not vote.
There is no evidence election outcomes were influenced by ID/address requirements.
There is no evidence — not even a credible hint — that the ID/address glitch was a nefarious plot to disenfranchise certain groups of voters.
There is no credible evidence that any would-be voter attempted to vote fraudulently by passing off a fake address.
There is, however, an opportunity to improve on voter education regarding requirements for having the right address on a voter ID. That particular rule was approved by the Legislature and is administered by the secretary of state. It was not clear to many voters who had moved from one voting precinct to another that they needed the new address on the ID within a specific time period in order to vote.
Secretary of State Al Jaeger is preparing to put clear information about that requirement near the top of his voter education agenda for 2016.
That being said, voter turnout was high for a mid-term election. Easy access to polling places (and early voting and absentee voting) confirmed independent assessments that North Dakota has in place the easiest, most open voting system in the nation. The credit for that record goes to Jaeger and his staff, and to the excellent on-the-ground work of county election officials. It's a winning combination.
No matter the spin from losing political candidates and other partisan megaphones, North Dakota voter access is a model for the nation. And as minor snafus like the ID/address situation are addressed, the system will get even better.