A federal judge has rejected a request by the state of North Dakota to dismiss a tribal lawsuit challenging North Dakota's voter ID law.
U.S. District Judge Daniel Hovland ruled Monday that the Spirit Lake Nation and the Standing Rock Sioux, as well as six individual Native American plaintiffs, have a right to challenge the state's requirement that voters have ID with a provable street address.
The lawsuit filed in October 2018 by the Spirit Lake Sioux on behalf of itself and six tribal members came in the days leading up to the Nov. 6 general election that year. The lawsuit that was later joined by the Standing Rock Sioux was part of a larger effort to ensure that members of all North Dakota tribes could vote following a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that month in a similar but separate lawsuit filed by the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa.
Justices allowed the state to continue requiring voters to show identification with a provable street address — which can be hard to come by on reservations — as opposed to addresses such as post office boxes that many reservation residents have long relied on.
The Spirit Lake lawsuit seeks to have the residential address requirement as it applies to Native American voters ruled unconstitutional and a violation of the federal Voting Rights Act.
North Dakota Secretary of State Al Jaeger declined comment on the ruling, The Bismarck Tribune reported.