Counties vote “no” on bill limiting precinct, polling place changes

Published: Jan. 25, 2019 at 7:37 PM CST
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There were multiple voting bills in committee Friday, but the contention was around House Bill 1270.

The bill would prevent changes to legislative districts or polling places without consulting legislators and getting a majority of chairmen of district parties to agree. Bill sponsor Rep. Larry Klemin, R-Bismarck, says this bill came about after Burleigh County tried to change precinct boundaries in 2017, catching legislators by surprise.

“It takes away no local control whatsoever because they still are in control of the election. What we're really asking is that we have consultation where we didn't get it in 2017,” said Klemin.

“We do try to collaborate with our county chairmen and often time we get no response. Our concern with this bill is what do we do with no response?” said Erica Johnsrud, McKenzie County auditor

The North Dakota Association of Counties came out against HB 1270, saying it erodes county decision making and usurps local authority.

There are 424 precincts in North Dakota.