A grand total of 238,534 people voted in North Dakota’s last mid-term senate election (2010). Less than a quarter million voters determined a Senate seat for 6 years. California had a Senate election that year as well. Barbara Boxer won. A total of 10 million people voted. 240,000 vs 10,000,0000. One could not create a more perfect example of the un-democratic nature of the Senate. Under out current system, a single voter in North Dakota is equivalent to 40 voters in California.
Republicans are not happy enough with this natural advantage. They are now rigging the vote in North Dakota to ensure Kevin Cramer defeats Heidi Heitkamp. And they’re doing it in the most despicable manner possible, with a policy intended to disenfranchise Native American voters.
North Dakota’s Native American population is roughly 40,000 and the majority (over 26,000) live on reservations. Wait, you say, how can a few thousand voters make a difference? Well, in her last Senate race (2012), Heidi Heitkamp won by 3,000 votes (161,337 to 158,401).
If turnout tracks 2010, then ten thousand voters would constitute 4% of the electorate. And this is where the GOP plan to suppress the vote comes in:
On September 27, NARF, on behalf of its clients, a group of Native American voters in North Dakota, filed an emergency appeal to the United States Supreme Court. They are asking the court to stay a recent Eighth Circuit decision that allows the State of North Dakota to impose new voter identification and residential address requirements in the upcoming election, even though early voting already has begun. Earlier this week, a divided panel of judges from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit removed a lower court’s order, which was put in to place in April of this year to protect Native American and other voters in North Dakota. The order barred the enforcement of a voter ID law that the District Court identified as discriminatory and unconstitutional. (Read more about the case.) This week’s order from the Eighth Circuit allows North Dakota to begin using the discriminatory new law in the upcoming election. It not only changed the rules of the election after early voting had begun, it created a situation where several thousand people in North Dakota, who are qualified to vote in North Dakota, will be unable to vote in this year’s election simply because they do not have a residential address or because they lack the documentation and/or funds to obtain the required voter identification. — www.narf.org/…
Why is a residential address such a big deal? Well, that’s because many people living on reservations do not have a mailing address and rely on P.O. boxes. Please amplify the following American Indian voices.
This will have a negative impact on voting on the reservation. Sometimes Rez Natives don’t have street addresses & so they use post office boxes. When I lived on a ND Rez, my residential address was literally ’the log cabin by the lake where the road ends.’ https://t.co/ytu2lLJjci
— Ruth H. Hopkins (@RuthHHopkins) October 1, 2018
Most Native Americans on Reservations do not have a street address but rather a PO box. There are also no DMVs on the reservations to come change IDs. This law will prevent anyone without a street address on their ID from voting. #resist https://t.co/oZWXep6Ok1
— jadedcrow (@jadedcrow) September 25, 2018
Please share: The 8th Circuit held #NorthDakota residents can only vote in the upcoming election if they show proof of current RESIDENTIAL address & not MAILING address (PO Box, for example). This will have a huge impact on Native voting in a few weeks.https://t.co/QVTV5PvXAV
— Breakdances With Wolves Podcast = Baby Makin Music (@BigIndianGyasi) September 30, 2018
Street addresses aren’t always assigned on Native American reservations, so members of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa sued the state, alleging its ID requirements discriminated against Native Americans. https://t.co/P5Fc2AraDS
— Rain Clan Dakhta (@Mdewakanton) October 2, 2018
There are nine senate races that Cook Political classifies as toss-ups. They are:
- Bill Nelson (FL)
- Joe Donnelly (IN)
- Claire McCaskill (MO)
- Heidi Heitkamp (ND)
- Kyrsten Sinema (AZ)
- Jacky Rosen (NV)
- Phil Bredesen (TN)
- Beto O’Rourke (TX)
- Jon Tester (MT)
Of these eight, the North Dakota race may turn out to be the most important. It is the one where the Democratic candidate is polling poorest. It’s also the one where small donations and some volunteer time can make a huge impact because there are so few voters.
You can donate to all 14 of these Senate candidates here.
If you can, please spend some time volunteering for Heidi Heitkamp to counter the Republican perfidy.