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Bill sets nondriver ID as allowable when registering to vote

Bill sets nondriver ID as allowable when registering to vote

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PIERRE — A bill that will allow a nondriver identification number to be used for voter registration got quite a discussion Thursday morning in a meeting of the House Local Government Committee.

Currently, a South Dakotan can register to vote using a driver’s license number, the last four digits of a Social Security number or by signing a statement at the county auditor’s office saying he or she doesn’t have any of those numbers. Some committee members questioned being able to just sign a statement to register to vote.

“That’s telling me someone who has not been identified can register to vote,” said Rep. Tina Mulally, R-Rapid City.

Kea Warne, elections director in the Secretary of State’s office, said in her 24 years in the office, only one person had signed such a statement. Anyone who signs a statement does so under a penalty of perjury, Warne said

“We’ve only had one person ever go and do that,” Warne said.

Rep. Marty Overweg, R-New Holland, wondered how anyone in the United States gets by without a Social Security number.

Warne explained that some new citizens are given a federal tax number rather than a Social Security number.

While HB1054 adds nondriver identification numbers to the acceptable ID for registering to vote, Rep. Kelly Sullivan, D-Sioux Falls, asked if tribal identification could be used.

“We have no way to validate the number” on a tribal ID, Warne said. “Their tribal IDs are not the same throughout the state.”

Mulally said it seemed odd that it takes two forms of identification to get a driver’s license, but only one to register to vote. State law doesn’t require two forms of ID to register to vote, Warne said.

The bill was endorsed by the committee on a 10-1 vote. It now goes to the full House.

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