Supreme Court Allows Disenfranchisement of Native American Voters

Just in time for the midterm elections which could help reign in some of the havoc Trump has been wreaking, the Supreme Court upheld a Republican law preventing people from exercising their right to vote. Because if America is great at anything, it’s disenfranchising minority voters.

Barely a month before the midterm elections, the Supreme Court decided not to block North Dakota’s voter ID law, which makes it harder for residents to vote. Republican lawmakers claim the law is necessary to prevent voter fraud, despite their being no evidence that voter fraud is an actual problem requiring any kind of legislation.

Republicans don’t care about voter fraud, but they do care about suppressing the votes of Native Americans, who are more likely to vote for Democrats like Senator Heidi Heitkamp, who won in 2012 by just 3,000 votes. Shortly after that election, lawmakers introduced a voter ID law requiring that voters bring an ID which displays a “current residential street address” with them to the polls or another form of documentation which provides proof of a street address.

This seemingly simple requirement will likely disenfranchise 70,000 of North Dakota’s voters, primarily Native Americans. That’s nearly 20 percent of the typical midterm voter turnout.

Many of North Dakota’s Native population live on reservations in rural areas and don’t have street addresses. Instead, they may have their P.O. box listed on their ID. Because of homelessness or poverty, some also don’t have supplemental documentation, like a utility bill.

Because the Supreme Court refused to step in to protect citizens’ right to vote, people who show up to vote using an ID with a P.O. box will not be able to cast their ballots.

This is not what democracy looks like.

North Dakota is certainly not alone in trying to suppress votes. In Georgia, the closely-watched gubernatorial race garnered even more attention because the Secretary of State under Republican candidate (and current secretary of state) Brian Kemp is holding 53,000 voter registration applications hostage. Seventy percent of those applications are from black voters.

The applications were flagged under the state’s “exact match” process, which holds applications for additional screening if the information is not identical to the data on file with the Department of Driver Services or the Social Security Administration. Applications can be flagged for differences as trivial as a missing hyphen.

As in North Dakota, a Supreme Court decision allowed lawmakers in Georgia to make it more difficult for people to vote, particularly minorities. In 2013, the Court struck down a provision of the Voting Rights Act which required states with a history of racial discrimination to get changes to voting measures pre-approved.

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

55 comments

Chad Anderson
Chad Anderson14 hours ago

Thank you.

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Amanda M
Amanda M21 days ago

And the Rethuglican Religious Reich's sabotage of American rights and values at the Supreme Court level continues!

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Julie W
Julie W21 days ago

David F, your post has nothing to do with the topic. Maybe you are in the wrong thread? You are certainly on the wrong site, if you read the rules at the bottom of the page.

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Joan E
Joan E22 days ago

The Supreme Court is anything but.

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pam w
pam w22 days ago

How is it possible that any ''level headed person'' could vote for a Republican? Unless, of course, they're already wealthy and greedily want to take MORE from the rest of us to enrich themselves? How is it possible that any ''level headed person'' could pop up to troll every possible thread? Could it be....oh, I dunno....that he (and his ''friends'') are being PAID?

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David F
David F22 days ago

Two Republican judges exchanged for two Republican judges.

Tom Homan, acting director of ICE, last year gave Congress a list loopholes they asked to be closed.
Had the Democrats in Congress not obstructed and ignored these requests, these massive caravans from the continent of South America would not be happening.

Democrat leaders put their political hatred of President Trump a head of national security and the safety of Americans.

How is it possible any level headed person could vote for a Democrat?

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Lesa D
Lesa D23 days ago

shameless...

thank you Lauren...

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Jetana A
Jetana A23 days ago

Shame on the Supreme Court and the not-so-great state of North Dakota! Every citizen deserves the right to vote, even those with no SITUS address. Blocking 20% of the voters is criminal!

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Janis K
Janis K23 days ago

I truly hope there is a way to impeach Kavanaugh after November.
Vote BLUE!

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Joan E
Joan E23 days ago

If enough people vote D this election, we can make changes to the Electoral College and undo what Trump, McConnel and their evil minions have done to the Supreme Court, the Voting Rights Act, their theft of our Medicare and Social Security money (which they are about to do now) , and on and on. This election really matters, for your own family's health and prosperity.

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