On September 27, the Native American Rights Fund(NARF), on behalf of its clients, a group of Native American voters in North Dakota, filed an emergency appeal to the United States Supreme Court. They are asking the court to stay a recent Eighth Circuit decision that allows the State of North Dakota to impose new voter identification and residential address requirements in the upcoming election, even though early voting already has begun. Earlier this week, a divided panel of judges from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit removed a lower court’s order, which was put in to place in April of this year to protect Native American and other voters in North Dakota. The order barred the enforcement of a voter ID law that the District Court identified as discriminatory and unconstitutional. (Read more about the case.) This week’s order from the Eighth Circuit allows North Dakota to begin using the discriminatory new law in the upcoming election. It not only changed the rules of the election after early voting had begun, it created a situation where several thousand people in North Dakota, who are qualified to vote in North Dakota, will be unable to vote in this year’s election simply because they do not have a residential address or because they lack the documentation and/or funds to obtain the required voter identification.
You can find the emergency application here.