COVID-19 cases force tribal voter ID event to be postponed

BISMARCK (AP) — North Dakota officials say a voter ID event scheduled on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation was postponed due to the coronavirus on Tuesday, a day when the state reported 419 new COVID-19 cases and five additional deaths.

State Department of Transportation officials have visited several reservations to help tribal members sign up for licenses to become eligible to vote in the Nov. 3 election. A lawsuit settlement in May ended a requirement that tribal residents provide a street address when voting.

The reservation, home to the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation, is located on parts of McLean, Mountrail, Dunn, McKenzie, Mercer and Ward counties. Those counties accounted for 62 new virus cases and one death in Tuesday’s update.

There have been nearly 678 new cases per 100,000 people in North Dakota over the past two weeks, which ranks first in the country for new cases per capita, according to The COVID Tracking Project. A total of 21,401 people in the state have tested positive since the start of the pandemic.

The state’s death toll now stands at 239 people. There are 105 people who are hospitalized, the same total as the day before.

Active cases fell for the second straight day, from 3,669 to 3,651.