What a time it is to be alive. The Supreme Court has allowed the republican-controlled North Dakota government to pass a law that excludes thousands, maybe tens of thousands of Indigenous people from voting in the upcoming midterms.
The new North Dakota law requires voters to present a form of identification that includes a street address. This means reservation residents who use a PO box, such as many citizens of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, are suddenly ineligible to vote.
“Native Americans can live on the reservation without an address. They’re living in accordance with the law and treaties, but now all of the sudden they can’t vote,” says Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Chairman Mike Faith. “There is no good reason that a P.O. Box address is not sufficient to vote.”
The Nation released a statement committing to helping its citizens get the necessary identification, and Standing Rock External Affairs Director Danielle Ta’Sheena Finn tweeted that she is working on “correcting the problem”, adding that “New Tribal IDs will be issued, I will get you your physical address, if you don’t have an address the churches have volunteered their addresses.”
With Kavanaugh’s Swearing In, SCOTUS is Now Republican Majority
Not coincidentally, this regressive SCOTUS decision came just after the swearing in of accused sexual predator and republican Brett Kavanaugh. Kavanaugh is an alumnus of the predatory Yale fraternity made famous when members were videotaped outside a women’s center shouting “no means yes, yes means anal”. Kavanaugh was sworn in to the Supreme Court on October 6th to public chants of “shame, shame, shame”.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg opposed the Court’s decision on the North Dakota law, noting that “70,000 North Dakota residents — almost 20% of the turnout in a regular quadrennial election — lack a qualifying ID.” She added that “approximately 18,000 North Dakota residents also lack supplemental documentation sufficient to permit them to vote without a qualifying ID.”
Midterm elections will determine who controls Congress, and could affect the Senate race as well.
A Homophobic Dog Whistle in Illinois
Meanwhile, in Illinois, the republican party has distributed a mailer that openly gay Democratic candidate Kevin Morrison says contains a “dog whistle to homophobes”.
The mailer, an eyesore featuring the kind of amatuer, slapdash design only a republican would respond to, depicts Morrison as a limp-wristed marionette.
“The fact of the matter would be that, for one, it is National Coming Out Day, and he [republican Tim Schneider] sends out his first attack ad with his [Illinois Governor Bruce] Rauner money against an LGBT candidate depicting me with a limp wrist, which everyone knows is a caricature to shame LGBT individuals.”
Republican Male Out of the Job After Lashing Out At Native Lesbian Candidate
Over to Kansas! Republican precinct committeeman Michael Kalny of Shawnee (the town, not the Nation) resigned after sending a slur-heavy Facebook message about democratic congressional candidate Sharice Davids. Davids is Ho-Chunk (the Nation), openly lesbian, and trained in mixed martial arts.
Kalny’s message, which he sent to the president of the Johnson County Democratic Women’s north chapter, said that “your radical socialist kick boxing lesbian Indian will be sent back packing to the reservation.”
Whew! Glad he’s gone. Are things getting crazy in here or what? If elected, Davids will be the first Native woman making laws in Washington, and the first openly gay delegate for Kansas. So there’s still hope yet!
CongressElectionHo-ChunkLGBTQ+Native AmericanSCOTUSSenateSharice DavidsStanding RockStanding Rock Sioux TribeSupreme Court