Nov 4, 2012 - Tribal Colleges Treated Unfairly by ND Sec. of State?
By : Chase IronEyes
Lastrealindians has been alerted to the fact that North Dakota Secretary of State Al Jaeger sent out a letter advising college students as to their voting options and parameters surrounding their right to vote while attending college in North Dakota. However, Mr. Jaeger only sent it to schools within the ND University System, which does not include a single Tribal College (there are 5 in ND) or any of the private schools. With 24 hours until election-day we simply do not have time to worry about the ND Sec. of State correcting this error. Instead we must act now, our students must tell each other, update, tweet, text, get the word out –tell each other that all you have to do as students is go to the voting poll wherever you go to school (find out where you need to go to vote at or near your school) with a picture ID and cast your vote. Please read Al Jaeger’s letter at the end of this column for more specific instructions if needed. As for the rest of our relatives the time has come. We need not only to commit to vote ourselves but we need to take grandma, uncle, aunty, sister, cousin, guy on the couch and the kids to the voting polls just like we do in tribal elections –we have to voice our voting power. We need to gather all of our contacts, all of our friends in real life and on facebook and twitter (even those that are your facebook friends just to be nosy) and share this message that we no longer have to go forward in life not realizing our own power. These are new days my relatives. Thank you from Lastrealindians.
[Below is a press release from the North Dakota Democratic NPL, followed by ND Sec. of State actual letter]
For Immediate Release
Contact: Rania Batrice
North Dakota Dem-NPL Demands
Sec. of State to Treat Tribal Colleges Fairly
Bismarck, ND—The North dakota Democratic-NPL Party discovered that the North Dakota Secretary of State, Al Jaeger, distributed a letter to North Dakota universities, advising students on best practices of voting when they live in a dormitory (attached).
Secretary Jaeger failed to release the same letter and information to Tribal Colleges across the state. A letter was sent to Jaeger, urging him to extend the same courtesy the Native American student population, and rather than rectify this gross oversight, Jaegar’s Deputy stated they would do better during the next election cycle.
The North Dakota Democratic-NPL released the following statement from Communications Director, Rania Batrice after Sec. Jaeger’s failure to act:
“It’s shameful that Sec. Jaeger would overlook our Tribal Colleges, when for too long Native Americans were denied the basic right to vote. Sec. Jaeger should immediately fix his mistake and ensure that Tribal students receive his letter in order to ensure that ALL student voices are heard.”
*Note: there will be a press conference held today (By the ND Democratic NPL) Nov. 5, 2012 at 11:15 am (Central Standard) outside ND Sec. of State’s office to demand action following these reports of the Secretary of State sending out a letter that could serve as proof of residency to North Dakota college students, except Tribal college students. The press conference will be held at the ND Sec. of State office, 600 East Boulevard Avenue, outside Suite 108, Bismarck, ND.*
[Below is the letter sent from ND Sec. of State, Al Jaeger]:
(Auto Date Field)
(Student address at college) (City) (State) (Zip)
Student’s Date of Birth (MM/DD/YYYY) Dear (Student Name),
On November 6, 2012, North Dakota will conduct a General Election that will elect a President of the United States, a United States Senator, a Representative to Congress, a Governor and other statewide and district office holders. The statewide ballot will also include five measures.
In North Dakota, a qualified voter is a United States citizen who is eighteen or older; a resident of the state; has lived in his or her voting precinct for the 30 days immediately prior to the election; and who has not had his or her voting rights revoked by court action.
North Dakota Resident Student Attending College:
A college student has the choice of voting in the precinct associated with his or her North Dakota home residential address or he or she may vote in the precinct of the residential address the student has while attending college. The college student must choose one or the other as his or her residential address for voting. The student cannot use both.
If the home address is selected, then the college student may return home to vote on Election Day at the precinct’s polling location or the college student may cast his or her vote through an absentee ballot process. To vote by absentee ballot, a college student must complete the application at https://vip.sos.nd.qov/absentee/ and follow the instructions as to where to send the application. The ballot will be mailed to the student’s college address.
Regardless of the choice of voting address, home address or the college address, voters can find the polling location related to that address at https://vip.sos.nd.clov/VVhereToVote.aspx?tab=0.
To vote in person at a polling location, a voter is asked to provide identification (ID) that correlates to the voting address the college student voter has selected. Acceptable forms of identification are listed at Approved IDs. If the college student voter does not possess an ID showing his or her selected voting address while attending college, this letter may be used in combination with another Approved ID to establish the college student as a qualified voter in the precinct where he or she will be voting.
Whenever a voter applies for and votes by absentee ballot or goes to a polling place to vote, a record of where the voter cast his or her ballot is maintained in the state’s Central Voter File. If a voter casts a ballot in more than one precinct, the voter is subject to criminal prosecution.
Out-of-State Students Attending College:
If a student from another state meets the criteria listed above to be a qualified voter in North Dakota, the student may cast his or her ballot in North Dakota or the college student may cast an absentee ballot in his or her home state, which is allowed in all states (check home state for applicable requirements). If an out-of-state student chooses to make North Dakota his or her voting address, the out-of-state student’s home state will be informed. If records ultimately reveal that the student voter voted in both states, the student is subject to criminal prosecution.
Secretary of State
State of North Dakota