This series is a joint project with National Native News, Prairie Public Broadcasting and Solutions Journalism Network looking into how a potential setback for tribal members in North Dakota turned into a win for tribes, voters and Native candidates.
Faced with voting obstacles in North Dakota: ‘We’ll find a way’
Just weeks before the midterm election in North Dakota last November, voting rights advocates and tribes faced what seemed like an insurmountable task: to reach thousands of tribal members and others who could be turned away at the polls because of a new voter I.D. law. Tribal leaders, organizations, and volunteers came together to bring Native voters in compliance with the law, and in the process sparked one the largest Native vote turnouts ever in the state for a midterm election. Read the story here.
Lawsuits to overturn North Dakota’s voter I.D. law remain in play
Despite legal setbacks leading up to the 2018 midterm elections in North Dakota, tribes and voting rights advocates still have hope they can overturn a state voter I.D. law. The courts have yet to decide on the merits of the two legal challenges to the law that the advocates maintain continues to threaten voting accessibility for thousands of tribal members in the state. Christine Trudeau has the second part in our series reviewing the ongoing legal fight over North Dakota’s unique voter I.D. law. Read the story here.
Ruth Buffalo: North Dakota legislature through an Indigenous lens
The election of Ruth Buffalo to the North Dakota legislature is already paying dividends for Native issues in the state.
Buffalo is the first female Native American Democrat elected to the state’s House of Representatives. Just months into her first term as state representative, North Dakota joined a handful of states allowing high school students to wear traditional regalia for graduation ceremonies. It’s the first bill introduced by Buffalo to be signed into law. Read the story here.
North Dakota’s Native youth played a significant role in parts of the state to help get out the Native vote last November. Youth-led groups like the Turtle Mountain Youth Council reached out through numerous Facebook Live events and other forms of social media leading up to Election Day to help get young voters engaged. College students and other young people were among those who were affected by the state’s voter ID law during the 2018 midterm election. Read the story here.
North Dakota’s voter I.D. law draws comparisons to ‘poll tax’
Despite record-breaking Native voter turnout for the 2018 midterm election in North Dakota, tribes and voting rights advocates remain concerned about a controversial voter I.D. law. State officials show no sign of changing the law, but the issue received added attention at a U.S. House of Representatives committing hearing in the state. The presidential election is a year and a half away and there is no indication North Dakota lawmakers will make any changes to the voter I.D. law that threatens to exclude thousands of Native and rural voters. Read the story here.