Talks between the state of North Dakota a group of Native Americans failed to reach agreement over ways that tribal members can prove their identity in order to vote. Republican Secretary of State Al Jaeger said the two sides could find no agreement during the closed-door meeting Tuesday. He declined to discuss any of the proposals, saying they are confidential. Discussions “possibly may continue,” Jaeger said. “We’re leaving the door open.” Tom Dickson, a Bismarck-based lawyer for tribal members, said he was hopeful a settlement could be reached. But he said “the ball is in the state’s court.” The talks were suggested by U.S. District Judge Daniel Hovland, who had criticized the state for raising a “litany of embellished concerns” about people taking advantage of his ruling last month that expand the proof of identity Native Americans can use for North Dakota elections.
Hovland earlier had blocked a state requirement that documents used by Native American include residential street addresses that often aren’t assigned on American Indian reservations. North Dakota officials called that part of his ruling unworkable, and said someone with only a post office box listed as their residence could vote where they don’t live.
In addition to allowing the post office box addresses, the judge expanded valid forms of identification to include more tribal documents.
Jaeger, in a letter to county auditors following the failed settlement talks, said Hovland’s order “remains in effect as it relates to post office boxes.”
Full Article: North Dakota, tribes fail to reach settlement over voter ID.