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Senate reverses itself, defeats bill on polling places

The state Senate has reversed itself, and killed a bill that would prohibit a Governor from suspending state law requiring that each county have a physical polling place on election day.

Gov. Doug Burgum issued such an order last year, because of the COVID pandemic.

The House had passed it 77 to 17. The Senate Government and Veterans Affairs Committee had recommended a “do not pass” on it, but the Senate last Friday passed it 25 to 20.

Sen. Kristin Roers (R-Fargo) recommended the Senate kill the bill.

"My own personal opinion is, I feel this is an overreaction to a, hopefully, once in a lifetime event," Roers said. "We don't know what the future might bring."

Sen. Shawn Veeda (R-Velva) took the opposite argument.

"The single most important event held in our country is the election," Veeda said. "Doing it from your kitchen table is a right, but doing it from the voting place is necessary."

The bill failed on a 24 to 23 vote. It could be back for reconsideration today (Tuesday).

The bill is HB 1198.

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