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Heitkamp welcomes DOJ plan to ease Native voting

Heidi Heitkamp
Heidi Heitkamp

WILLISTON, N.D. (AP) -- U.S. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp says she welcomes a Department of Justice plan that would require state and local officials to place at least one polling place in a location chosen by tribal governments.

Locations chosen by non-tribal members can require Native Americans to travel long distances to vote. Heitkamp says it is ``very upsetting'' that there have been coordinated efforts throughout the country's history to hinder the ability of Native Americans to vote.

She made the remarks in a statement on Tuesday. In May the senator helped introduce legislation that would further help ease restrictions Native American voters face.

The Native Voting Rights Act of 2014 calls for translating ballots into Native languages, allowing voters to use tribal identification cards and enhancing election oversight.