Thousands of Native voters in North Dakota getting free IDs

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — The four large American Indian tribes in North Dakota are providing free identification to thousands of members in advance of Tuesday’s election.

The effort comes in the wake of a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling allowing the state to continue requiring street addresses on IDs, as opposed to other addresses such as post office boxes.

Streets addresses aren’t important on reservations, and some feel the rule could disenfranchise thousands of Native American voters. That sparked the free ID efforts launched with the help of the Lakota People’s Law Project and the Four Directions nonprofit.

So far, they’ve provided more than 2,400 free IDs to tribal members. That’s about half of a federal judge’s estimate of the number of Native Americans who don’t possess a qualifying voter ID under state rules.

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