By Rick Gion, communications and policy director, North Dakota Voters First

It’s just past crossover in the North Dakota Legislature. That means approved bills and resolutions have now made their way across the hall of the Capitol from one legislative body to another. And, committees are currently very busy with bill hearings.

Fortunately, most of the egregious voter suppression legislation has been defeated or withdrawn. That’s very good news for North Dakota voters.

However, North Dakota Voters First is still keeping an eye on a few pieces of key legislation.

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-HB 1024 - Funding for the Ethics Commission. We urge the Senate not to play politics with this. The Ethics Commission will continue to play a key role in good government.

-HB 1191 - Campaign finance transparency. This is a good bipartisan bill that legislative leaders support.

-HB 1373 - Early voting. This legislation would cut early voting days from 15 to 9. We urge the Senate to vote “no.” This bill is a solution in search of a problem that doesn’t exist.

-HB 1397 - The Legislature’s redistricting bill. Secrecy language in this legislation exempts draft legislative maps from open records laws. This language needs to be removed. Politicians should not be able to choose their voters in secret.

-HB 1447 - College voters. This bill would strengthen IDs for North Dakota college students and would make it more convenient for them to vote. This is good legislation with bipartisan support.

-SB 2271 - Secrecy in elections. This bill hides North Dakota presidential election vote totals until presidential electors meet. Election results shouldn’t be kept secret.

-SCR 4005 - Voter roadblocks. This initiative aims to make it harder for North Dakota voters to pass Constitutional initiated measures. It could be seen as another government power grab.

North Dakota Voters First will continue to track these pieces of legislation and more. There’s still a lot of work to do. We’ll continue to focus on voter advocacy, good government, and transparency in campaigns and elections.

Gion resides in Fargo.