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Letter to the editor: Prepare now for changes to voter ID requirements

By Ruth Urdahl, Jamestown

Do you know you need a picture ID with your current address to vote? Check your driver’s license if you have moved since you renewed your license. Go to the driver’s license office in the Jamestown Business Center to have your license updated before the election June 10 or to obtain a non-driver’s picture ID if you don’t drive. (A birth certificate, passport, or some document listing your Social Security number will need to be provided for that form of ID.)

No longer will a copy of a utility bill be allowed to verify an address change. No longer can you fill out an affidavit verifying your right to vote. The North Dakota majority party legislated these changes in the last session.

You can still vote by absentee ballot but will need someone with acceptable identification to attest for you (an “attester”). The voter fills out the ballot application and has another North Dakota qualified voter attest that the applicant is also a qualified voter by signing the application and listing the attester’s phone number and driver/non-driver identification number. The ballot application can be obtained from the auditor’s office in person or by mail or obtained online at

These new regulations, put in place by the majority party, make voting more difficult for students, young families that move frequently, and seniors who often downsize to simpler living situations and who may not have driver’s licenses. If you find these changes burdensome or offensive, you can protest at the ballot box, but first you must follow their rules to be able to vote.