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No Voter Registration in North Dakota… No Voter Fraud, Either!

Madville Times readers have engaged in spirited discussion of voter identification laws. Some of us worry that efforts like Minnesota's voter ID ballot measure will disenfranchise lower-income voters. Supporters of such restrictions express concern about voter fraud.

North Dakota isn't worried about voter fraud. You don't have to show a photo ID to vote in North Dakota. You don't even have to register. Yup: North Dakota has no voter registration system. If you're 18, a citizen, and have lived in the neighborhood for 30 days, you can vote in North Dakota.

According to the 2012 North Dakota Election Officials' Manual, when you walk into a North Dakota polling place, you'll be asked to identify yourself. The election officials would prefer ID with a photo and birthdate, but the manual makes clear neither item is mandatory. You can wave a utility bill at the officials, if that's what you have handy. Or you can say you live "three miles north of town on County Road 23" and sign an affidavit. Or you can get an election worker to vouch for you. Do any one of those things, and you get a ballot.

North Dakota officials claim this system works because they keep precincts small and everybody knows everybody. There is little to no evidence of voter fraud in North Dakota (when the only person shouting about voter fraud in North Dakota is Ron Paul, you know it's a non-issue).

Achieving the same policy outcomes with less bureaucracy—sounds like conservatism at its finest! Not only does North Dakota make it easier for people to vote, but it also makes it easier for people to participate in ballot measure petition drives, since signers need only be legal voters, not registered voters.

North Dakota repealed its voter registration laws in 1951 and has staunchly resisted efforts to reinstate them ever since. However, North Dakota faces its first Presidential election since the Bakken oil patch really boomed. The sudden surge of transient man-camp populations may change attitudes toward voter registration. But let's hope North Dakota remains a model of keeping voting simple and clean.


  1. Steve Sibson 2012.05.21

    "will disenfranchise lower-income voters"

    I am a disenfranchised voter...Obama or Romney...none of them are worthy.

  2. Testor15 2012.05.22

    Every state in the US should follow this example. More accessibility, friendly, neighborhood voting is what makes democracy work. The Sioux Falls experiment in central voting, on machines, will drop the vote counts from many neighborhoods which already have problems getting to the polls.
    Our ALEC controlled SOS office will find any way it can to do the business of the Koch Brothers. A major interest of the Brothers is to use ALEC to limit the 'wrong' people from voting. To this group the 'right' to vote is only reserved for the types of people allowed to vote in 1790. The Kochs believe only white property owning men should be allowed to vote. North Dakota is proving a point with their system. Their father helped start the John Birch Society to return America to something it never was. A white man only democracy on the horizon?
    Watch for ND voter fraud allegations to start accumulating, forcing the system to change. ND has been isolated from transient population changes, so everyone has been easily identifiable. Now with so many new people moving in, stressing systems never designed for change, ALEC groups will be also moving in to force their changes. Their type of change. BTW, how and to the point, where do you register to vote when you are forced to live in your truck's sleeper?

  3. Erin 2012.05.22

    Steve, has your right to vote been revoked? No? Then you are not disenfranchised. Period.

  4. Testor15 2012.05.22

    Steve, just because you don't like your choices, don't allow my ability to make a choice. We all have a long way to go to bring back a semblance of democracy to our system so we can have more choices.
    ND has the right approach, let everyone be part of system through easy to vote, easy to find locations and with your neighbors. This approach has worked for decades because it is intrinsically an honest system.

  5. Steve Sibson 2012.05.22

    "Every state in the US should follow this example. More accessibility, friendly, neighborhood voting is what makes democracy work."

    America was setup as a Constitutional Republic, not a democracy. Difference, the minority retains God-given rights in a Republic versus the majority voting them away in a democracy. That is how I am being disenfranchised. The lessor of two evils is still evil. The CFR wins either way.

  6. Carter 2012.05.22

    Your rights aren't being violated any more than anyone else's, Steve. Stop playing the victim, or kindly gtfo. We're all in the same boat, and you're no worse off than us.

  7. larry kurtz 2012.05.22

    I support Steve's right to be frustrated with GOP candidate nominations in the chemical toilet as Willard Romney was pre-selected and now Marco Rubio has been exposed as the darling of the Bilderberg Group.

    We liberals have a responsibility to ensure that Steve's people are welcomed in our party, not exclude them like the earth haters have done.

  8. Carter 2012.05.22

    We have no such thing. He's not a liberal, he's a libertarian. They're two entirely different, and mutually exclusive, things. Just because he doesn't fit in the conservative mold doesn't mean we need to change to accommodate him.

    He can join the other libertarians and fight for the libertarians, and I strongly support his right to do so, but just because we're not conservative and he's not a typical conservative doesn't mean we need to welcome him in. Compromising is part of what's ruining the left wing, already.

  9. Carter 2012.05.22

    1st sentence should be: "We have to do no such thing." Sorry.

  10. larry kurtz 2012.05.22

    Democrats don't need voters like you, Carter: go away.

  11. larry kurtz 2012.05.22

    How much have you donated to Democrats, Carter? I'll mail you a refund.

  12. Carter 2012.05.22

    I'm not a Democrat. I'm a socialist. I'm not a Democrat because right-wing, pro-corporate policies that continue to be supported even under democratic leadership are what's leading our country to where it is, in the first place.

    The idea that corporations shouldn't be restricted leads to monopolies and leads to the rich getting even richer. Our country needs regulations on corporations in order to get better and to maintain our spot as the larger economic powerhouse in the world. Becoming more libertarian and saying that regulations on businesses need to go will only drag us deeper into the hole we're in.

    Libertarians are economic conservatives. We need economic progressivism. I don't see how compromising and joining up with libertarians will do anything to help the country. It'll just bring us even further to the economic right, and further down the economic toilet.

  13. larry kurtz 2012.05.22

    You're an arrogant little shithead with little clue of American politics.

  14. Testor15 2012.05.22

    Steve, a constitutional republic as designed by our founding fathers with the 1st ten amendments and most of the following amendments are in place to guarantee a democratic system of governing.
    In theory we are a democracy, where we the people own the government equally, rich and poor owning the same percentage and governing it by way of electing our 'voices' to a congress to do our work.
    We also vote, as shareholders in this system, to elect our President to lead the government we the people own.
    So yes, we are not a pure democracy of direct rule. We are a operating a representative republic form of democracy. We don't always get the choices we want to lead us or even to vote for, it is not the fault of the system. The limited choices are we the people's fault. We the people got lazy and let the rich take more control by making their money equate to power. The people must unite to take the system back.
    Trying to destroy the system does not make more choices for you.

  15. Carter 2012.05.22

    Ha! This is a good time.

    American politics have been sliding farther right for generations. Obama is basically a Bush Sr.-era Republican. The Republican party is the farthest right it's ever been.

    The Democratic party has, for many years, been the party of compromise. The Republicans (especially the Tea Party Republicans, now) stand firm in their beliefs, and the Democrats lean towards them. We make fun of them for being crazy, but they're winning. Everyone's going farther right while they stand in place at the far right corner watching everyone approach.

    That's why we, as liberals, need to stop being so willing to compromise. We need to organize and synchronize, like the Republicans have done for years, if we want to get anyway. The Democratic Party, and liberals in general, continue to fight like Gallic tribesmen against the Republican legionaries. We liberals can never win until we start to fight like they fight, which is an unbending, unwavering devotion to their right-wing philosophies.

    Republicans will get a taste of the Democratic political process this November when they vote for RINO Romney, and I'm willing to bet the 2016 candidate is as hardline a Republican as we've seen yet. Meanwhile, Obama's Democratic successor is likely to be a Clinton or even early Bush era Republican.

  16. Carter 2012.05.22

    Wait, are you agreeing with me, or are you just showing me an adorable video of anthropomorphic dogs you didn't even watch? Because that's basically what I've been saying the whole time, with fewer details.

  17. larry kurtz 2012.05.22

    The video is great.

    Sibby has more political savvy in his cuticles than you have in your entire being, Carter.

    Nearly every other reader of this blog already knows what you are saying: we're Democrats because we have no other choice. I voted for Gus Hall over George McGovern in '72, fer crissakes.

    Cory has chosen to allow pseudonymous posters to ad homenize named readers: Steve deserves better than to have his chops questioned by those not using real names.

  18. Testor15 2012.05.22

    What difference does the messenger name make? I have never understood this about the web. The message is still the message as long a Cory knows how to get a hold of me or any of us.
    No one is questioning Steve's ability or candor of the message. Many people like myself, have no idea who any of the posters are on this site or many others. As Carter says above, "This is a good time."

  19. Carter 2012.05.22

    Just because Testor15 doesn't use his real name doesn't make him wrong, either. Nor does it make him right. That's not the point. The point is that compromising with the political right is what's brought us more right as a nation. The right doesn't compromise nearly as much as the left, meaning the left becomes more right, while the right doesn't become more left (as we've seen very clearly).

    Larry, you said it's our responsibility to accept Sibby since the Conservatives don't. I disagree. The whole thing centers on the fallacy of the two-party state. We here, according to you, are Democrats because we're not Republicans, and therefore have no choice. Steve is a Republican because he's not a Democrat.

    That's not how is should be, nor how it has to be. Steve can join the Libertarian Party. I don't know him, personally. Maybe he's just the guy to get them off the ground, with enough backing from other Libertarians.

    If we just keep absorbing all the people who "aren't Republicans" and the Republicans keep absorbing all the people who "aren't Democrats", we'll never get anywhere. Socialists can join Socialist parties. Libertarians can join Libertarian parties. Authoritarians can join Authoritarian parties. That's how nearly every other democratic country operates, and they all seem to be quite a bit more functional than we are, at the moment.

    Perpetuating the idea that we need a two party system won't help anything, Larry.

  20. Carter 2012.05.22

    I'm certainly willing to admit when I'm proven wrong (Bill and Troy have both convinced me I'm wrong on different occasions), but it takes more than cute cartoons, song lyrics, and "respect your elders" type insults.

    Hey, Bill and Troy, if either of you agree with Larry here, I hope you'll take the time to pound out a nice, substantive post about why I am wrong. If it doesn't convince me, then at least I'll learn a thing or two from your experiences.


  21. larry kurtz 2012.05.22

    This interested party on the record as having supported Ron Paul for his party's nomination and openly supported Gary Johnson for his party's nomination.

    The middle is Cory and Fleming's department, my job is to get the environmental left on board for Democrats.

    Uzani, his army with fists open.

  22. Steve Sibson 2012.05.22

    "He’s not a liberal, he’s a libertarian."

    Sorry that I have not had time to saty on top of this thread, so the above quote from Carter is a little old. The question is how man letters are the exact same...the first 5 right? So how can their be much difference between a liberal and a libertarian?

  23. Steve Sibson 2012.05.22

    "In theory we are a democracy, where we the people own the government equally, rich and poor owning the same percentage and governing it by way of electing our ‘voices’ to a congress to do our work."

    Yes, I agree that the amendment after the first 12 took us away from the republic and into a democracy. When the majority can take away the rights of the minority, we cannot be equal with regard to rights. Being the same is not the kind of equal that the founders sought.

  24. larry kurtz 2012.05.22

    Exactly. Like conservative and conservationist or angina and vagina, for example.

  25. Steve Sibson 2012.05.22

    "So yes, we are not a pure democracy of direct rule. We are a operating a representative republic form of democracy."

    OK, let me sind with Larry pn that. If the rich and powerful control the politcal process ith their mopney, then we the people are voting for what they want (a bigger government) not for what we want (freedom from government telling us what we have to do 24/7).

  26. Carter 2012.05.22

    Steve, I'd say about half of the libertarian viewpoint is right on target with liberal viewpoints. The social aspect (although I'm admittedly unsure of your social libertarian views). However, liberals and libertarians diverge significantly when it comes to businesses.

    Liberals such as myself believe strongly in regulation of businesses, a fair market as opposed to a free market, in order to make sure everyone gets a slice of the pie, not just the big corporations. Libertarians, on the other hand, believe that the market should not be regulated, and that the corporations will run things nicely without regulation.

    It's like a mathematical graph. Quadrand I (upper right) is authoritarian right (that's our government, also Pinochet, Franco, etc.). Quadrant II (upper left) is authoritarian socialism (China, USSR, etc). Quadrant III (bottom left) is liberal socialism (Cory, Bill, me, etc). Quadrant IV (lower right) is the libertarians (low-no regulation on people or corporations).

    So, that's how it's different. Most of us here are bottom left, you're bottom right. There's a fun site where they ask you questions to show you where you are, but it's not terribly thorough.

  27. Dr. Carter Science 2012.05.22

    So aggressive, Larry. You're grumpier than Grudz today.

  28. Testor15 2012.05.22

    As long as we the people, from at least 3 of the four corners of the Carter's example above continue to allow the destruction, we all fail. The Citizens United decision allowing unregulated corporate money into the political system will only result in more of our rights to be striped from us.

  29. Steve Sibson 2012.05.22

    "Libertarians, on the other hand, believe that the market should not be regulated, and that the corporations will run things nicely without regulation."

    If what you say about libertarians is true, then I disagree with libertarians on that point. Corporations should not be running things. I believe that they would not be, if it was not for government regulation. It keeps individuals out of the market place. Only Corporations can afford a team of lawyers and accountants to manage the regulations placed on the now-no-longer-free-competitive markets.

  30. Bill Fleming 2012.05.22

    if Sibby really wants to be a democrat, he's gonna have to learn a few more guitar chords and practice his modes. He's not big on harmony.

    And he's gonna have to stop clapping on 1 and 3. I'm just sayin'.

    P.s. Kurtz, what happened? Run out of benzos?

  31. Steve Sibson 2012.05.22

    "He’s not big on harmony."

    And you are?

  32. Dr. Carter Science 2012.05.22

    It's not about corporations running things, Sibby. Libertarians believe what (I think) you believe. Unregulated corporations and a completely free market are inherently fair, and regulating just messes them up. If you agree with that, and that people should not be subject to regulation, either, then you are 100% libertarian, my friend.

Comments are closed.