North Dakota is asking a federal appeals court to overturn a ruling that found problems with how the state’s voter identification laws affect Native Americans. The state is arguing the case Monday in the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. U.S. District Judge Daniel Hovland in April agreed to expand the proof of identity Native Americans can use for North Dakota elections. The judge also ordered eliminating a requirement that those documents include residential street addresses, which sometimes aren’t assigned on American Indian reservations.
Articles about voting issues in North Dakota.
John Erickson breezed into downtown Bismarck’s government building, flashed his ID and picked up a primary ballot. A few minutes later, the early voting ballot complete, Erickson traded pleasantries with friends and familiar poll workers and headed back to tend the cows and crops on his farm north of the state’s capital city. Erickson, 86, the proud non-owner of a neither a television nor computer, relishes the fact that he has never had to register to vote in his native state. “I like life simple,” he said. In an era when hacking has raised concerns about the security of America’s elections and President Donald Trump rages about voter fraud, North Dakota stands out as the only state that doesn’t require voter registration. Residents and most state and local election officials say the low-tech system in use for Tuesday’s primary, as it has been for generations, works just fine.
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.
The two sides fighting over North Dakota’s voter identification law failed to reach a settlement Tuesday, May 29. More than two years after several members of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa sued Secretary of State Al Jaeger over the state’s voter ID laws, the two sides met in a settlement conference at the federal courthouse in Bismarck Tuesday. But that ended without an agreement, Jaeger told county auditors in a message. Jaeger, a Republican, said he couldn’t disclose any proposals because the talks were confidential. He said “discussions may continue.”
North Dakota: GOP to support independent secretary of state candidate after learning about nominee’s peeping case | West Fargo Pioneer
The North Dakota Republican Party confirmed it will support an independent candidate for secretary of state Tuesday, May 22, one day after that office’s longtime occupant said he would mount such a campaign. Republican Al Jaeger said Monday he’ll work to gather the 1,000 signatures necessary to appear on the November ballot as an independent. That announcement came a day after the Republican-endorsed candidate, Will Gardner, dropped out of the race once his 2006 peeping arrest surfaced. The North Dakota Republican Party said in a news release Tuesday that independent candidates who intend to petition for a letter of support should appear before a Republican State Committee meeting June 16 in Fargo, a few days after the primary election. The party will begin drafting procedural rules for the meeting.
North Dakota: Jaeger to run as independent after Gardner drops out of secretary of state’s race | West Fargo Pioneer
North Dakota Secretary of State Al Jaeger plans to seek re-election as an independent in November after the Republican-endorsed candidate dropped out once his 2006 peeping arrest surfaced. Jaeger, a Republican who has been in office since 1993, said Monday, May 21, he conferred with Republican Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem about his legal options and determined an independent run was his only viable path to re-election. “I know the office well. I believe I have a good record,” Jaeger said. Jaeger will need 1,000 signatures by Sept. 4 to appear on the November ballot.
North Dakota: As settlement talks near, Heitkamp says voter ID laws ‘clearly target’ Native Americans, college students | West Fargo Pioneer
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.
North Dakota agreed to hold settlement negotiations with a group of American Indians who sued over expanded voter ID laws after a federal judge admonished the state for exaggerating worries of voter fraud. U.S. Magistrate Judge Charles Miller on Monday scheduled the settlement talks proposed by the plaintiffs for May 29 in Bismarck. In a ruling last week, U.S. District Judge Daniel Hovland criticized the state for raising a “litany of embellished concerns” about people taking advantage of his earlier ruling that expands the proof of identity Native Americans can use for North Dakota elections. Hovland had suggested the parties negotiate a settlement “so that all homeless persons, and all persons who live on Native American reservations in North Dakota, can have a meaningful opportunity to vote.”
A federal judge won’t delay part of a ruling that found problems with how North Dakota’s voter identification laws affect Native Americans, despite the state saying it could lead to voter fraud. U.S. District Judge Daniel Hovland in his order Monday chided 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 last month eliminated a requirement that documents used by Native American include residential street addresses. Those sometimes aren’t assigned on American Indian reservations. North Dakota officials called that part of the ruling unworkable, and claimed someone with only a post office box could still vote where they don’t live. “The reality is (the state) has failed to demonstrate any evidence of voter fraud in the past or present,” Hovland wrote in his order Monday, denying a delay.
North Dakota voters should be prepared to show identification when they go to the polls in June, although just what that means might depend on a federal judge. Secretary of State Al Jaeger spoke to the Minot Area Chamber of Commerce’s Governmental Affairs Committee Friday about the state’s election system. Earlier this month, U.S. District Judge Daniel Hovland expanded the valid forms of identification that can be used by tribal members and struck down a state mandate that voter identification include a current residential street address. Several members of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa first challenged the state’s voter ID law more than two years ago. They are asking the court to award them $1.1 million in attorney fees and other costs.