Today’s Ask Your Government

Dear Teri,

Is the North Dakota interstate system a two-lane highway, or is the left lane considered the passing lane? I understand that slow moving traffic should drive on the right-hand lane. I sometimes like to drive in the left lane, but only if I am not interfering with the traffic flow or driving at least the speed limit. A few years back, I was taught at a driver’s ed class that the North Dakota interstate is a two-lane highway, and you may drive on either lane and pass in either lane.


Guy Mischel


Thanks for writing! Sgt. Tom Iverson of the North Dakota Highway Patrol’s Southwest Region answered this question. Here’s what he said:

“The North Dakota interstate system is considered a four-lane highway. It is further broken down to describe each side as a two-lane one-way roadway. Section 39-10-08 subsection 2 of the North Dakota Century Code states that any vehicle proceeding less than the normal speed of traffic must be driven in the right hand lane thus to not interfere with traffic proceeding at the normal speed limit. 

“As long as you are not interfering with the traffic proceeding at the normal speed limit, it is permissible to drive and pass in either the left or right lane.”


Dear Teri,

There is so much concern about different issues in the media right now with immigration and the vote in the upcoming November election, concerns for who’s getting what votes. My question is that if all these immigrants are illegals and aren’t citizens, why are they allowed to vote?

Thank you.

Carol Ryum


Thanks for writing! I talked to Secretary of State Al Jaeger about this. Here’s what he said:

“The qualifications for voting in North Dakota are that the person must be a United States citizen, 18 years of age and have lived in the precinct at least 30 days prior to the election. 

“Although a voter is asked to provide identification prior to voting, there is no requirement under state law that they have to present a birth certificate or proof of citizenship. Regardless, it is unlawful for a noncitizen to vote and, if it is discovered that they have, he or she is subject to criminal prosecution.

“I recently attended the summer conference of the National Association of Secretaries of State where this topic was discussed extensively. It is a very complex issue, and all states are trying to address it.

“While it is important to have laws and procedures in place to ensure that only qualified United States citizens are allowed to vote, it is also important that these same safeguards do not inadvertently disenfranchise a qualified citizen from his or her right to vote.”

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