Conservative Judge Refuses To Allow Native Americans In North Dakota To Vote Because Of Draconian Voter ID Law
A conservative federal district court judge on Thursday refused to temporarily exempt Native Americans in North Dakota from a state law requiring residents to show a valid ID that matches their current residential street address when voting, even when residents of reservations don’t have standard addresses.
Chief Judge Daniel Hovland, of the U.S. District Court for North Dakota, cited Tuesday’s midterm election in his decision to reject the emergency request for temporary relief from the requirement to provide proof of a residential address.
“The federal courts are unanimous in their judgment that it is highly important to preserve the status quo when elections are fast approaching,” Hovland, an appointee of former President George W. Bush, stated in his ruling.
Native Americans argue they are disenfranchised by the law because residents of reservations don’t have standard addresses.
The ruling is a blow to Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D), who is relying on support from Native Americans in her campaign against Rep. Kevin Cramer (R). Heitkamp was first elected in 2012 with strong support from Native Americans.
In April, the district court blocked the voter ID law from being enforced, but that order was stayed by the conservative-leaning 8th Circuit Court of Appeals on Sept. 24.
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