Opinion | Politics

Brian Cladoosby: A victory for Native voting rights in North Dakota






Brian Cladoosby serves as president of the National Congress of American Indians. Photo by NCAI

A group of Native citizens just secured a big voting rights victory in North Dakota but where is the Department of Justice? Brian Cladoosby the president of the National Congress of American Indians, calls on the federal government to do more to protect voting rights in Indian Country:
Last week, Judge Daniel L. Hovland of the United States District Court for North Dakota issued a preliminary injunction against North Dakota’s strict voter identification-card law, which made it difficult and sometimes impossible for some Native Americans on rural reservations to cast ballots. This victory is an important one to Native voters, but also highlights the lack of enforcement by the Department of Justice of the Voting Rights Act in Indian country.

The lawsuit in North Dakota was brought by individual Native people and the Native American Rights Fund. We greatly appreciate these strong advocates, but there simply are not enough non-profit resources to address the widespread voter discrimination on Indian reservations. It is the responsibility of the Department of Justice to enforce violations of the Voting Rights Act, and yet the Department has not brought a Section 2 lawsuit on behalf of American Indian and Alaska Native voters since 2000 when Bill Clinton was President. The National Congress of American Indians recently passed a resolution calling on the Department of Justice to take action to enforce the Voting Rights Act in American Indian and Alaska Native communities.

Read More the Story:
Brian Cladoosby: N.D. Decision Highlights Failure to Protect Native Voting Rights (Indian Country Today 8/11)

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Spirit Lake Nation welcomes decision in voter identification lawsuit (08/03)
Tribal citizens secure injunction against North Dakota voter ID law (8/2)