Heidi Heitkamp criticized North Dakota lawmakers this week for passing what she called unnecessary voter identification laws in the years after she was first elected to the U.S. Senate as a Democrat, drawing a rebuke from Republicans. In an interview Thursday, May 10, Heitkamp said the laws “clearly target” Native Americans and college students, two groups that tend to favor Democrats. She said there’s “absolutely no proof” of voter fraud in North Dakota.
“I think that this was the North Dakota Legislature taking a problem that is being alleged in another part of the country and checking a box on legislation that we didn’t need,” Heitkamp said.
Heitkamp’s comments came weeks before settlement talks between the state of North Dakota and a group of Native Americans who sued over its voter ID laws. She’s also in the middle of a tight re-election bout with Republican Rep. Kevin Cramer, a race that could tip the balance of power in the U.S. Senate.