Yesterday the legislature shot down a bill to pay for necessary upgrades to North Dakota’s old election equipment, because it’s just not important enough.
“Like a lot of things this session, we’re going to have to prioritize,” Rep. Roscoe Streyle (R-Minot) told Forum News Service. The bill failed 17 to 72.
You have to wonder what in a democracy could possibly be a bigger priority than ensuring a functional election. For his part, Streyle has made it a priority this session to introduce bills benefiting the oil industry, which contributed a lot of money to his 2014 campaign.
To give you a sense of how shitty the state’s election technology is, the auditor in Burleigh County said his ballot scanners might not be good to use in 2018, the Grand Forks Herald reported. Election officials say the election infrastructure could be “unworkable” by 2020.
But with the state undergoing budget cuts, it seems politicians have other, more important issues to worry about. Like Gov. Doug Burgum, who is valiantly fighting to add a skylight to the $5 million governor’s mansion.