Spirit Lake Sioux tribe sues North Dakota over voting rules

Associated Press

The Spirit Lake Sioux tribe on Tuesday sued the state of North Dakota over its voting identification requirements, part of a larger effort to ensure American Indians can vote in next week’s election in the wake of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in a similar lawsuit filed by another tribe.

To cast a ballot, voters in North Dakota need identification with a provable street address — something that’s hard to come by on reservations. The state maintains everyone has a street address via the statewide 911 system, but the lawsuit filed by the Native American Rights Fund, the Campaign Legal Center and two law firms argues the system is “incomplete, contradictory and prone to error on reservations.”

“State policies should be designed to make it easier for all citizens to vote, but North Dakota’s voter ID law disenfranchises Native Americans living on reservations,” said Danielle Lang, senior attorney with the Campaign Legal Center. The lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court seeks to have the street address requirement ruled unconstitutional.

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