Published October 27, 2022

Poll workers can't demand proof of US citizenship 

Written by
AP - The Dakotan
| The Dakotan

Wrigley: No power to do that 

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — Some poll workers in North Dakota who created confusion and frustration in the spring primary by demanding proof of United State citizenship, particularly from immigrants and people of color, had no power to do that, the state attorney general says. 

Attorney General Drew Wrigley said in a five-page opinion released late Wednesday that North Dakota law does not require a voter to provide documents of citizenship in order to cast a ballot. Every voter is asked if they are a citizen and if they answer yes, they should be allowed to vote provided they have proper ID, Wrigley said. 

Many of the complaints came from some polling sites in Fargo, which has the largest new American population in the state. 

North Dakota does not require voter registration. Residents need to provide a North Dakota driver's license, a non-driver's license ID, a tribal ID or a long-term care facility certificate that shows a person's legal name, age and address. If some of the information is not accurate or up to date, they can provide "supplemental documentation" such as a utility bill, bank statement or current paycheck. 

"I believe the confusion has now been clarified by our state attorney general and it has been explained to all of our poll workers," Cass County Election Administrator Murray Nash said Thursday. 

Voting rights activists call Wrigley's ruling a step in the right direction but some, like Amy Jacobson, are worried that the attorney general waited until two weeks before the election to give his opinion. Jacobson, executive director of Prairie Action ND, said the primary issues had a chilling effect on the new American community. 

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