North Dakota Indians Suppressing Their Own Vote?


According to some, North Dakota passing a tougher voter ID law was all about suppressing the Native American vote. That’s an accusation made by Melissa Merrick, the Spirit Lake woman who accused Rep. Kevin Cramer of berating her during a closed door meeting (a claim Merrick herself admits hasn’t really been confirmed by anyone else).

From a report on the left-wing “news” website Last Real Indians:

When asked if she thought there’s a possible connection between Cramer’s recent verbal barrage against Native Americans in North Dakota and the sudden push for new Voter ID laws in the state, Melissa Merrick says, “When I spoke up against the Congressman, I knew there may be consequences for speaking the truth. What I didn’t foresee was the fear of the others in the room-so much so that they were afraid to publicly confirm the Congressman’s actions. They were afraid of being attacked by the media as they watched me being attacked. They were also afraid of losing funding if they spoke up. I did not think that there would be any sort of backlash because it seemed to be focused on me. Tribes issued statements calling for a meeting with the Cramer and asking for an apology, but nothing has happened. The timing of this Voter ID requirement bill seems a bit too coincidental.” She continued, “I see this type of ‘punishment’ in the work that I do. When a victim of abuse finally has the courage to speak the truth about the abuser, punishments in all forms are brought forward, all of which are meant to stop the victim from speaking, to regain control, to intimidate, and most importantly to send the message of who has the power and control and who does not.”

Wow. And remember, the North Dakota media reported Merrick’s account of her meeting with Cramer on its own merits, with nothing in the way of independent verification. But I digress.

We can all take off our tin foil hats, because while the voter ID legislation in question was passed just eight days after Merrick’s confrontation with Rep. Cramer, it was introduced at the beginning of the legislative session back in January.

The legislation had nothing to do with Merrick or her accusations against Rep. Cramer.

But here’s something interesting. While activists like Merrick claim that the state’s new voter ID law is somehow an attempt at voter suppression motivated by politics, at best, and racism at worst it’s interesting that Merrick’s own tribe is requiring an ID to vote in their upcoming tribal elections.

According to this document posted on the Spirit Lake tribal website, their tribal elections coming up on May 7th will require an ID:

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So, is this an attempt by racist Spirit Lake tribal members trying to suppress the vote? Or is the tribe just taking prudent precautions to ensure that unqualified, non-tribal voters don’t skew the results?

Obviously the latter is true, and it’s a little hard to believe the left’s claims about voter ID laws being racist or aimed at voter suppression when the very people who are supposedly suppressed by the law require voters to have ID’s.