Legislative intrusions

Richard Shafer, Grand Forks

North Dakota Senate Bill 1332 aimed at eliminating the voter affidavit process represents another blow to wider democratic citizen participation in North Dakota.

Many potential voters in the Minot area who don’t have driver’s licenses or state-issued photo identification will find it hard to get to the Department of Transportation office near the Arrowhead Mall.

In Grand Forks the office is located on the far north of the city and is inconvenient for almost every citizen.

Both houses of the North Dakota Legislature have been busy this term obstructing individual liberties – including three new bills to deny women their reproductive rights – and actively resisting moves to make it illegal to discriminate against gays and lesbians.

This past week N.D. Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem asked for $400,000 in state funds to defend the unconstitutional bills. The New York Times reports that our Legislature is emboldened by the opportunity to use revenues from oil development to carry out its repressive social agenda. What a waste.

The Taliban-like religious zeal of this Republican-controlled Legislature is unfortunate at a time when American society is generally moving toward an expansion of human rights and a more inclusive society.