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PNS Daily Newscast - March 8, 2021 


Nationwide protests in advance of trial of former Minneapolis police officer charged in the killing of George Floyd; judicial districts amendment faces bipartisan skepticism in PA.


2021Talks - March 8, 2021 


After a whirlwind voting session the Senate approves $1.9 Trillion COVID relief bill, President Biden signs an executive order to expand voting access and the president plans a news conference this month.

Public News Service - ND: Civic Engagement

The latest federal stimulus package approved by the U.S. House sets aside $20 million for assistance groups to address fair-housing complaints. (Adobe Stock)

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FARGO, N.D. -- The focus of a new federal COVID relief package has now shifted to the U.S. Senate. Groups that assist and advocate for struggling North Dakotans say they can't wait any longer for the help. The $1.9 trillion dollar package would provide $1,400 direct payments to qualifying individu

Legal Services of North Dakota says one reason it helps low-income households with free income-tax preparation is so they don't pay high fees for a firm to do the work, negating any tax refund they might receive. (Adobe Stock)

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BELCOURT, N.D. -- Despite the recent arctic blast and ongoing challenges of the pandemic, a North Dakota group is reaching out in tribal areas to help low-income residents complete their tax returns. Legal Services of North Dakota is again partnering with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to provi

In several state legislatures this year, bills have been introduced that would place tighter restrictions on voting. Such bills now have surfaced in North Dakota. (Adobe Stock)

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BISMARCK, N.D. -- The national debate over voter fraud concerns, which have been discredited by many court rulings, has reached the North Dakota Legislature. Several election rule changes are being considered that voter-rights advocates say would harm the state's system, not improve it. One of the

In addition to her historic nomination for Joe Biden's cabinet, Rep. Deb Haaland, D-New Mexico, made history in being one of the first two Native American women elected to Congress in 2018. (House.gov)

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CANNON BALL, N.D. -- Spiritual and cultural connections to land are among the core beliefs of Native Americans, and North Dakota advocates feel they could soon have a federal leader who strongly identifies with those beliefs. New Mexico Congresswoman Deb Haaland is awaiting her confirmation vote, a

Like other states, the constitution of North Dakota requires the Legislative Assembly to redistrict itself following each federal decennial census. (Adobe Stock)

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BISMARCK, N.D. -- On the heels of the 2020 census, states now are getting started on redrawing their legislative maps. But watchdogs say there are still concerns about gerrymandering in states such as North Dakota, and hope citizens demand more transparency in the process. Nearly three dozen state

The group North Dakota Native Vote, established in 2018, said the pandemic affected momentum in reaching Native voters this year. But it remains optimistic about making more strides in future elections. (ND Native Vote)

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MANDAN, N.D. -- When it came to pushing voter turnout among North Dakota Native Americans, 2020 was a tough year. Because of the pandemic, the state didn't see as much activity in tribal areas as in other parts of the country. But one group said connections still were made, and has its eyes on futu

A recent report from SmartAsset ranks North Dakota in the top ten states for voter engagement. But voters' rights groups worry that in a presidential election year, voters aren't as well informed about state or local candidates. (Adobe Stock).

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BISMARCK, N.D. -- Voting in North Dakota has wrapped up for the 2020 election, but voters' rights groups hope residents take all the energy they used in deciding on a presidential candidate and channel it into being informed about future candidates for local offices. This year's race for the White

In other states, legal fights have occurred to allow ballot collection on behalf of Native Americans trying to vote absentee. In North Dakota, concerns over vague language in state law is leaving assistance groups feeling limited about helping that way. (Adobe Stock)

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CANNON BALL, N.D. -- Today is Indigenous Peoples Day. In North Dakota, advocates are honoring their heritage by ramping up efforts to ensure Native Americans overcome voting obstacles in the 2020 election. The race is on to help those living on reservations know what they have to do to cast their b

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