Federal Court Disenfranchises Native Voters


On Oct. 30th, 2018, a lawsuit was filed against the state of North Dakota to overturn its ID requirements for voting. A little over a week later on Thursday, Nov. 1, a federal judge Daniel L. Hoveland denied the changing of ID laws.

The reason for the filing was simple: the requirements dictate that a valid ID must be linked to a residential address. Many Native Americans live on reservations which do not meet the qualifications of a residency, and because of the isolated locations, mail often does not reach these reservations. For these reasons, many Native Americans use P.O. boxes to receive their mail, and therefore their IDs do not meet the legal requirements of a street address. It is estimated that over 5,000 of North Dakota’s tribal citizens use a P.O. box to get their mail.

Hoveland, the federal judge that ruled on the matter, was appointed by George W. Bush as is considered to be a conservative judge. The stated reason for not changing the law, or allowing an exception during the voting period, is that it would cause “confusion and chaos ” on the day of the election. The reasoning behind Hoveland’s decision is blatantly to suppress the vote of Native American. The most obvious motivation is to prevent North Dakota’s Native community from voting due to their trend of voting Democrat.

The use of voter suppression by the ruling classes and their lackeys in service of the state goes beyond mere party politics; disenfranchisement of peoples helps to maintain a passive citizenry. Workers and oppressed people of all kinds must stand with Native Americans for their right to vote, for their land, and for all their rights. The Native American population across the Americas have been subject to centuries of genocide and oppression. To stand in solidarity with the Native American population is just not to stand for the rights of an historically oppressed people, but to stand for the most basic of democratic and human rights.

Categories: U.S. News

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