In North Dakota, Native Americans Try to Turn an ID Law to Their Advantage

Four Directions informed Secretary Jaeger of this plan in early October and asked him to endorse it. In his response, which his office provided to The Times, Mr. Jaeger declined, saying that whether tribes had the authority to create their own addresses was a question beyond his office’s purview. He added, however, that he could not “dictate the style or format of the identification used by a tribal government if it contains the required voter information,” suggesting that a letter with a handwritten address should be as valid as an ID card.

The pace of working with potential voters has been relentless for the tribes. Ms. Jackson-Street said Spirit Lake had identified and was trying to reach 211 members without residential addresses, in addition to printing ID cards for members who had addresses but no document showing them. Robin Smith, the tribe’s enrollment director, said last Tuesday that she had been too inundated with ID requests to budge from her chair all morning.

Merle White Tail, 50, had no street address, so Ms. Smith assigned one. Grant Cavanaugh, 32, had an address on file but didn’t know what it was, so she looked it up. Darien Spotted Bird, 21, had an ID card that misspelled his address, so she printed a new one.

Then there are more subtle problems. For instance, while Sioux County does not offer early voting, it does — like all North Dakota counties — allow early, no-excuse-needed absentee voting, which is functionally almost identical. But Mr. Semans said that when one woman went to the county auditor’s office and asked to vote early, the auditor, Barbara Hettich, simply told her there was no early voting and didn’t mention the absentee option. (Ms. Hettich did not respond to a request for comment.)

Later, when Ms. Young filled out an absentee ballot, Ms. Hettich told her she had to use blue ink or the ballot would not be counted. But literature on the secretary of state’s website says ballots must be filled out in black ink. Mr. Semans ping-ponged back and forth between Standing Rock and Bismarck, trying to get a guarantee that ballots would not be thrown out because of ink color. On Friday, Lee Ann Oliver in the secretary of state’s office told The Times that both blue and black were acceptable.

The scene at the get-out-the-vote headquarters in Fort Yates last Monday showed how hurriedly the whole effort there had been put together. The room was mostly empty. There was a small table, a couple of armchairs, some old swivel chairs, all delivered the day before. The team was trying to create a voter database from a list of people who bought propane last winter. The phones were not hooked up yet.

Source link

more recommended stories

  • Mueller Report Expected to Go to Justice Department Within Weeks

    WASHINGTON — The new attorney general,.

  • CNN Is Criticized for Hiring Trump Administration Aide as a Political Editor

    Sarah Isgur Flores, a Republican spokeswoman.

  • On Politics: Inside Trump’s War on the Investigations Encircling Him

    Good Wednesday morning. Here are some.

  • Bernie Sanders on the Issues: Where He Stands and What Could Derail Him

    The measure, drafted by Representative Alexandria.

  • Elizabeth Warren’s Native American Ancestry Draws a Shrug From These Voters

    “She definitely made a mistake,” he.

  • Anthony Weiner Is Out of Prison, and in a Re-Entry Center in Brooklyn

    [What you need to know to.

  • Heather Nauert Withdraws From Consideration as U.N. Ambassador

    PALM BEACH, Fla. — President Trump’s.

  • Watch Out. Tax Season Is Even More Stressful Than Usual.

    Take a deep breath, a drink,.

  • Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Returns to Work at Supreme Court

    WASHINGTON — Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

  • Ilhan Omar Confronts Venezuela Envoy About Iran-Contra Affair and Human Rights – Video

    Channels & Shows Home Search U.S..

  • With Procedural Maneuver, House G.O.P. Elevates Anti-Semitism as Political Issue

    The National Republican Congressional Committee blasted.

  • Unmistakable Divide Among Women in Virginia Over Accusations Against Fairfax

    It is an even more awkward.

  • As Primary Season Begins, Who Can Grab Trump by the Ratings?

    You can tell how deeply Donald.

  • On Politics With Lisa Lerer: The Sexism Shield

    Hi. Welcome to On Politics, your.

  • ‘He May Not Even Be a Free Person,’ Elizabeth Warren Says of Trump in 2020

    CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — Countless Democratic.

  • Mission ‘Accomplished’? Trump Boasts of Being Boon for Military

    WASHINGTON — Over the past two.

  • Unlikely Partnership in House Gives Lawmakers Hope for Border Deal

    WASHINGTON — When it became clear.

  • In Surprise Abortion Vote, Roberts Avoids ‘Jolt to the Legal System’

    Mr. Specter, at the time a.

  • On Politics: ‘Green New Deal’ Plan Is Unveiled

    Liberal Democrats hope to redefine the.

  • Albany’s ‘Wonder Twins’ Form a Power Duo, Challenging Cuomo’s Influence

    [What you need to know to.

  • Virginia Attorney General Says He Also Dressed in Blackface

    RICHMOND — Virginia Attorney General Mark.

  • Beto O’Rourke to Make 2020 Decision by End of February

    Beto O’Rourke, the Texas Democrat whose.

  • On Politics: Scandal Splits Top Virginia Democrats

    Good Tuesday morning. Here are some.

  • Attacking a Pay Wall That Hides Public Court Filings

    WASHINGTON — The federal judiciary has.

  • Trump Won’t Commit to Making Mueller Report Public

    WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — President.

  • ‘I Am Not Either of the People in That Photo’ – Video

    Channels & Shows Home Search Politics.

  • Justice Alito Temporarily Blocks a Louisiana Abortion Law

    WASHINGTON — Saying the Supreme Court.

  • Trump Discusses ‘Fake News,’ and Its Repercussions, With Times’s Publisher

    “And I think I am, too,”.

  • Sanders Unveils Estate Tax Plan, Joining Democrats Who Want to Tax the Rich

    Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, a.

  • Kamala Harris’s Misleading Answer About a Police Shooting Bill

    What Was Said Jake Tapper, CNN.

  • After a Shutdown Test of Wills Comes a Test of Governance

    By the nature of their role.

  • On Politics: A Pro-Israel Bill Also Aims to Divide Democrats

    The legislation, which allows state and.