Someone in North Dakota seems to want to keep pro-gun and pro-hunting voters away from the polls this week. As Fox News is reporting, the laughably-named North Dakota Democratic-Nonpartisan League is claiming that North Dakotans could lose their hunting licenses if they cast a ballot.
The North Dakota Democratic Party is discouraging hunters from voting in the upcoming election, claiming they could lose their out-of-state hunting licenses if they do so.
“Attention hunters: If you vote in North Dakota, you may forfeit hunting licenses you have in other states. If you want to keep your out-of-state hunting licenses, you may not want to vote in North Dakota,” the ad says, linking to a similar warning on the North Dakota Democratic-NPL website.
“By voting in North Dakota, you could forfeit your hunting licenses. You MUST be a resident of North Dakota to vote here. And if you are a resident of North Dakota, you may lose hunting licenses you have in other states,” the website said.
The NPL created a Facebook page to help spread the misinformation. And the message is right there on the state Democratic-NPL Party’s web site:
You’ll be shocked to know that really isn’t true. Even the so-called fact-checker sites are calling BS on the claim. Here’s what PolitiFact wrote:
We ran the ad by Cameron Wimpy, research director at MIT Election Data and Science Lab.
“I do absolutely think it is voter suppression to try and trick folks this way,” Wimpy said.
Most North Dakota hunters can breathe easy.
If you have an out-of-state hunting license anywhere outside of North Dakota — and it’s an out-of-state license, rather than a residential one for residents of that state — you’re safe.
If you have a North Dakota residential hunting license, you’re also safe, because in applying for that license you already gave up any other residential licenses. North Dakota’s Game and Fish department doesn’t allow a person to hold two residential licenses. (Those tend to expire within a season or year anyway.)
An additionally misleading aspect of the ad is the suggestion that the act of voting could pose a threat to out-of-state hunting licenses. “If you want to keep your out-of-state hunting licenses,” the Democratic-NPL states, you may not want to vote in North Dakota’s 2018 election” (our emphasis added). The only population of people this ad could possibly be relevant to are people who live in North Dakota, have a resident hunting license in another state, and also do not have an up-to-date North Dakota ID or driver’s license.
By not providing those supporting details, the ad does nothing to correct the false notion an already legal North Dakota voter (i.e., one already in possession of a state-issued ID) could put the legality of their theoretical out-of-state hunting licenses in jeopardy by going to the polls. The fact that this ad was released less than a week before the election also speaks poorly of its legitimacy.
The argument presented by the Democratic-NPL is based on a highly implausible scenario that has state hunting licensure boards actively and continually communicating with other state’s DOT or DMV offices and would relate only (if at all) to a population of people who have claimed to be residents in other states for the purpose of obtaining discounted resident hunting licenses. Even then, it would not be the act of voting that theoretically put out-of-state licenses at risk, but the act of obtaining the state-issued ID required for voting.
Gee, why would North Dakota Dems be so desperate to keep pro-gun voters away from the polls? Maybe it has something to do with this:
So make sure you get out and vote, North Dakotans, and piss off an anti-gunner this week, okay?