North Dakota’s state Democratic Party is trying to discourage hunters from voting on Tuesday, warning them that they could lose their out-of-state hunting licenses should they show up to the polls.
“ATTENTION HUNTERS: If you vote in North Dakota, you may forfeit hunting licenses you have in other states. If you want to keep your out-of-state hunting licenses, you may not want to vote in North Dakota,” said the ads, which appeared on Facebook Thursday.
According to the Daily Caller, the state party is running them under a “Hunter Alerts” Facebook page that was only set up the day before the ads ran.
Rob Port, a blogger from the state, first reported on the ads after being alerted to them by a reader. He reached out to several state officials and none of them had ever heard of such a thing happening by voting.
The ad is promoting a Facebook Page titled “Hunter Alert,” though at this point there is no content there other than some logos.
I reached out to Democrats about the ad, asking what facts they’re basing this claim that hunters may lose their licenses for voting on. The Democrats typically don’t respond to my inquiries, however.
I’ve been writing about politics for more than 15 years now, and this is the first time I’ve ever heard of something like this.
I contacted Secretary of State Al Jaeger and asked if he’d ever heard of this claim before. “No,” he told me. “We’re not involved at all in the requirements for getting a hunting license. A question like what you have needs to be directed to the Game & Fish Department. I doubt that there’s any connection.”
“We’ve never heard of that,” Randy Meissner, the licensing manager for North Dakota Game & Fish, told me when I contacted him and read him the text of the ad. I sent him the links and screenshots for the ad and he said he was going to run the claim by his administration.
North Dakota GOP communications director Jake Wilkins slammed the move in a statement to the DC.
“Heidi Heitkamp is using her anti-Kavanaugh campaign coffers to suppress voter turnout in North Dakota,” he said. “On the day she’s starting her de-facto farewell tour, Heitkamp is making it clear to voters that she only cares about winning re-election, not helping her constituents.”
According to RealClearPolitics’s average of polls, Heitkamp is not expected to win re-election, as her Republican challenger Kevin Cramer is currently ahead by 11.4 percentage points.