There’s a seeming attempt at voter suppression going on in North Dakota, and it comes from the North Dakota Democratic Party. On their website, they offer a message that looks designed to intimidate hunters, who may be more cut from GOP cloth, into abandoning an attempt to vote because they might lose their out-of-state hunting licenses.
The message reads:
If you vote in North Dakota, you could forfeit your hunting licenses. You MUST be a resident of North Dakota to vote here. And if you are a resident of North Dakota, you may lose hunting licenses you have in other states. If you want to keep your out-of-state hunting licenses, you may not want to vote in North Dakota’s 2018 election.
Underneath the message is printed, “Paid for and authorized by the North Dakota Democratic-NPL Party. Not authorized by any candidates or candidate's committee. www.demnpl.com. Copyright © 2018 North Dakota Democratic-NPL Party. All rights reserved.”
Rob Port at sayanythingblog.com writes:
I contacted Secretary of State Al Jaeger and asked if he’d ever heard of this claim before. “No,” he told me. “We’re not involved at all in the requirements for getting a hunting license. A question like what you have needs to be directed to the Game & Fish Department. I doubt that there’s any connection.”
“We’ve never heard of that,” Randy Meissner, the licensing manager for North Dakota Game & Fish, told me when I contacted him and read him the text of the ad. I sent him the links and screenshots for the ad and he said he was going to run the claim by his administration.
Republicans have been accused by North Dakota Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp of suppressing the vote because of a voter ID law the GOP legislature passed requiring residents of the state to show their street address. The law went into effect in early October.
The Supreme Court decided in October not to hear a challenge to the law. As Amy Howe noted at scotusblog.com, opponents of the law argued that the change coming so close to the election would injure Native American voters. Howe wrote, “The state urged the justices to stay out of the dispute, emphasizing that the law is intended to combat voter fraud and guarantee that voters (who, unlike in most states, are not required to register in advance) get the right ballots when they go to the polls. The state argued that the street-address requirement is easy to satisfy: Voters can provide proof of address through their IDs or, if necessary, through other documents like a pay stub or a utility bill. If the district court’s order were reinstated, the state warned, nonresidents could vote in the state’s election simply by renting a P.O. box there.”
Some Native Americans were upset because on the reservations where they live, there are no street addresses; many of them use P.O. boxes as their address.
Heitkamp, an incumbent who is losing in the polls to GOP congressman Kevin Cramer in the race for her Senate seat, lashed out:
Given the number of Native Americans who have served, fought, and died for this country, it is appalling that some people would still try and erect barriers to suppress their ability to vote. Native Americans served in the military before they were even allowed to vote, and they continue to serve at the highest rate of any population in this country. We need to put an end to every form of voter discrimination.