There are a lot of things going on in our country right now that cause me outrage. One of those things is the Republican Party drive to suppress voters. Especially if those voters are likely to vote Democrat.
The 2016 and 2018 elections were rife with voter suppression. The black vote in Georgia is a prime example. Voters were purged from the election rolls, most specifically in heavily black districts. Voter registrations were held in desk drawers for weeks or months, so that voters weren’t registered at all. Worst of all was the outright deliberateness of it all as the Georgia Attorney General, responsible for the fair running of the election process in that state, was running for Governor against Democrat Stacey Abrams. He was the one deliberately doing the suppression.
If that fires up your sense of unfairness, welcome to the club. This isn’t the way America is supposed to run her elections. Every citizen has a right to vote. Except now. Unless you’re black, or Latino or in the case of North Dakota, a member of the Turtle Mountain Band of the Chippewa tribe. A number that seems small, about 2,300 members of the tribe, is actually ten percent of the eligible tribe members. Ten percent. Let that sink in. https://truthout.org/articles/court-upholds-north-dakota-law-stripping-voting-rights-from-native-americans/?utm_source=sharebuttons&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=mashshare&fbclid=IwAR3JTv8gVeioSV6rBWn4Y-2o0WvTGF01zLjbI94QCeKO3RG7jsPRNw6QO6Y
It all has to do with North Dakota’s HB 1369 that requires, not a mailing address but an actual street address on their identification, to prove residency. The problem is, on the reservations, there are no street addresses. The lawsuit filed by the tribe alleges the law discriminates against Native American voters in violation of both the Equal Protection Clause and Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act.
North Dakota is alone, at least so far, in requiring the street address instead of a mailing address but who knows how long that will last as the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld HB 1369, stripping a hefty percentage of voting-age Native Americans of their right to vote.
Why, you may ask, does North Dakota need such a stringent requirement? Because, according to the Republicans responsible for the law, they’re trying to control voter fraud. The same reason several other Republican controlled states use to conduct their versions of voter suppression. Wow, is there a lot of voter fraud in North Dakota? No. Not at all. Matter of fact, none. That’s right. No voter fraud has been detected but still, there’s the bill.
The fight isn’t over, as there are still claims out for equal protection under the U.S. Constitution, the North Dakota constitution, and the Voting Rights Act. What’s troubling to me, is that this could happen in any state, just like North Dakota, Georgia, or anywhere else. Voting age members of the electorate can have their rights to go to the ballot box eliminated by this method, the elimination of polling places, the purging of voter rolls, or any one of a number of other despicable tricks used by Republican controlled State Houses.
It is up to us, the voters, to keep an eye on what’s going on in our states. Check with your county voter registration office. Are you on the rolls? Is your party affiliation correct? This 2020 election is rapidly approaching. Make sure you’re ready and get out and vote, in both the Primary and the General Election. Don’t waste your franchise, many people fought long and hard for you to have that right. And don’t let anyone take it away from you.
Want to do more? Check out Stacy Abrams organization, Fair Fight 2020 at https://fairfight.com/fair-fight-2020/.