Federal judge lets North Dakota Republicans block Native Americans from voting
A federal judge rejected on Thursday a lawsuit brought by Native American voters disenfranchised by North Dakota’s draconian voter ID law. The decision likely means that hundreds, perhaps thousands of citizens will not be able to cast a ballot in November because they live on reservations.
Following Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp’s narrow victory in 2012, North Dakota’s Republican lawmakers passed a new law requiring voters to present an ID that lists their current residential street address. The measure plainly targeted Native Americans, many of whom live on rural reservations with no street names or residential addresses. Previously, residents could vote with a valid mailing address, allowing rural tribal voters to list their P.O. Box. Now they must provide an ID with their exact residency—something that many Native Americans don’t have and can’t get.