Opinion | Politics

Chelsey Luger: Tribal ID cards should be treated with respect

A voting poster on the use of tribal identification cards. Image from Voting in North Dakota Easy as Pie

Chelsey Luger finds that voting with a tribal ID in North Dakota isn't as "easy as pie" as promised:
On posters, on the radio, on social media, essentially everywhere, the state of North Dakota distributed an advertisement reminding residents to get out and vote. On these ads, acceptable forms of ID are listed: Tribal ID card is one.

I arrived at the voting station in Grand Forks, ND at about 11:00 AM to fill out my ballot. I handed over my Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa identification card.

The woman attending to me at the registration table looked at it, pulled out a bulky white binder and said “I don’t know what to do with this.” Being that I was in a rush to get back to my office and that she seemed irritated, I said “I have a valid driver’s license as well,” and handed that over.

But, since my address on the license was not current, she informed me that I’d have to go to the DMV and get a new license printed, or I’d have to go to the Department of Transportation website and update my address online. Another woman working the table next to her assessed the situation and agreed with her that I’d have to go that route. I was turned away.

By the time I got in my car and drove off, I thought to myself - “Wait a minute, why didn’t they take my Tribal ID?” After all, it says *everywhere* that a Tribal ID is acceptable.

Get the Story:
Chelsey Luger: Turned Away From Voting With a Tribal ID: Why This Matters (Indian Country Today 11/6)

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