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Native Americans Marched to Vote, ​Many Were Still Turned Away

North Dakota's Heidi Heitkemp, historically a Native American voter's choice, loses in landslide to Trump ally.

Despite record numbers of Native Americans to the polls in North Dakota (thanks to the voter ID efforts), the candidate that had overwhelming support from them in previous elections, Heidi Heitkamp, lost in a landslide to Trump supporter Kevin Cramer (44.6%. vs. 55.4%).

Native voters topped turnouts from 2008 election with 5,100 votes from Native Americans, but activists still said poll workers turned away voters because of tribal identification letters or address discrepancies.


"You really see a juxtaposition between how eager people are here to vote, and how at every step of the way, it's being made as difficult as possible," says Carla Fredericks, director of the American Indian Law Clinic at the University of Colorado Law School.

"To me, that's just tragic because I know our country, and especially Native communities and communities of color have a lot of issues with voter turnout," she says. "And while the voter turnout is really strong, the impediments that are in place just seem really out of line with our Democratic values."

Heitkamp's campaign, who won in 2012 with the Native American vote, stated previously that she planned to have attorneys at almost every polling station on reservations to call the county auditor if voters were turned away.

North Dakota Secretary of State Al Jaeger said last week that Native Americans with new IDs would be able to vote, but said poll workers would "most likely" accept them. Lawyers asked for him to give guidance to county auditors prior to the election, and he said the request would be "considered."

OJ Semans, co-executive director of Four Directions, says some Standing Rock precincts ran out of ballots on Tuesday and had to get more because turnout was higher than anticipated.

Heitkamp, considered a moderate, centrist, voice, and the Senate's most vulnerable candidate, said in her concession speech: "We offered an alternative…we are still are hopeful that would be picked…in my case, it's not. It seems like such a bitter thing to lose a race, but the worst thing would be to not ever run, to not ever try."

Trump rallied in North Dakota three times to get his base to elect strong conservative Cramer, who voted with Trump 99 percent of the time.

"Can you imagine going home and telling your wife, 'I've been faithful to you 55 percent of the time?'" Mr. Cramer told a local radio show in April. "Are you kidding me? Being wrong half the time is not a good answer."

It was the Supreme Court who voted to suppress Native American votes.

The Conversation (1)
votetocorrect08 Nov, 2018
The Native Americans need to take North Dakota to court for racism and have the law changed! Next, have a recall election against Kevin Kramer for Heidi Heitkemp!

Oracle Underpaid People of Color and Women by More Than $400M: Department of Labor

Oracle's "suppression of pay for its non-white, non-male employees is so extreme that it persists and gets worse over long careers," according to a federal filing.

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The U.S. Department of Labor, in a federal filing on Tuesday, accused Oracle of underpaying thousands of people of color and women employees by more than $400 million. Employees with years of experience are paid as much as 25 percent less than their white male peers.

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Supreme Court to Allow Trump Administration Transgender Military Ban

"The Trump administration's cruel obsession with ridding our military of dedicated and capable service members because they happen to be transgender defies reason and cannot survive legal review," Jennifer Levi, of GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders, said.

The Supreme Court has allowed President Trump to move forward with his ban of transgender people from military service, as the case continues to make its way through lower courts.

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Two Students Leave University of Oklahoma After Blackface Video Surfaces

"Obviously we've had a second incident in several years," University of Oklahoma President James Gallogly said. "It shows that there must be something systemic. We have work to do."

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Another video of a student in blackface has surfaced at the University of Oklahoma (OU).

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Senator Holds Airlines Accountable When Servicing Customers With Disabilities

U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) is working to stop wheelchairs from getting damaged during air travel.

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U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) is leading the charge for better airline management of customers' motorized wheelchairs. Duckworth has been confined to a wheelchair since her helicopter was shot down in Iraq and she lost both of her legs.

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California Defies Trump's Order NOT to Pay Furloughed Workers Unemployment

Over 55 percent of civil service employees in the state are people of color.

Screenshot from ABC 7

President Donald Trump signed legislation on Wednesday that said all furloughed workers would receive back pay once the government reopens. However, the Trump administration has ordered states not to provide unemployment coverage to federal workers who have been required to work without pay during the partial government shutdown.

California Governor Gavin Newsom said on Thursday the U.S. Department of Labor sent states a letter with that mandate, according to NPR. The Department of Labor said the roughly 420,000 federal employees who are "essential" cannot file for unemployment as they are "generally ineligible."

It also reported 10,454 initial claims by federal workers for the week that ended Jan. 5, doubling the previous week's figure. Thousands more have applied since, state officials said.

Newsom said the decision by the Department of Labor's decision was "jaw-dropping."

"So, the good news is, we're going to do it, and shame on them," he said.

"From a moral perspective, there is no debate on this issue and we will blow back aggressively on the Department of Labor."

The California Employment Development Department (EDD) reports unemployment claims for one week during the shutdown are up 600 percent from the same time last year. The state has over 245,000 federal employees.

Over 55 percent of civil service employees in the state are people of color, and they are over 35 percent of the country's federal workforce.

Newsom encouraged people to continue to apply while the state figured out how to get the money. He estimated benefits that would last up to 26 weeks and provided a few hundred extra dollars a month. He said he knows it doesn't fix everything, but hopefully it helps.

His message to Trump: "Let us states do the job you can't seem to do yourself."

Some state officials said they had asked utilities and other companies to extend mercy to federal employees, and the federal Office of Personnel Management published sample letters that furloughed employees could send to creditors to ask for patience.

Texas has received more than 2,900 claims from federal workers since the shutdown began on Dec. 22, while Ohio is approaching 700. Kansas reported 445 filings, and Alabama was closing in on 500. Montana said it had logged almost 1,500.

Trump tweeted on Friday that he would be making a "major announcement" on Saturday about the government shutdown.

A senior administration official told CNN that Trump plans to offer Democrats another proposal to end the shutdown.

Reader Question: How are people you know that are furloughed workers surviving?

Black Student in Kansas Sues School District for Racial Discrimination

The dance team's choreographer told Camille Sturdivant that her skin was "too dark" to perform because she "clashed" with uniforms.

Camille Sturdivant has filed a racial discrimination lawsuit against the Blue Valley School District for the abuse she was subjected to as a member of the high school dance team.

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