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Vox Sentences: Tanzania’s anti-gay crackdown

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A federal judge upholds a ruling that prevents many Native Americans in North Dakota from voting; a Tanzanian officer orders an anti-gay crackdown through mass arrests.

Another setback for Native Americans’ voting rights

Michele Eve Sandberg/AFP/Getty Images
  • A federal judge denied a last-minute lawsuit to review a recent court ruling that changed voter ID laws in North Dakota, putting many Native Americans’ efforts to cast a ballot at risk. [NBC News / Dennis Romero]
  • The Supreme Court ruled earlier in October that voters must present a current residential address on Election Day. Members of indigenous tribes, who largely vote Democrat, don’t have a typical residential address and rely on PO boxes instead. [Vox / German Lopez]
  • This effort seems targeted at unseating Democratic incumbent Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, who pulled off an upset in 2012 when she was elected to Congress in the majority-conservative Midwestern state. She’s already trailing her GOP challenger, US Rep. Kevin Cramer, who has been leading recent polls by a wide margin. [CPI / Carrie Levine]
  • American Indian tribes have been hassling to provide free identification to thousands of its members in advance of Tuesday’s election in fear of them getting turned away at the polls. [AP / Blake Nicholson]
  • Celebrities have taken a stance on the issue as well; actor Mark Ruffalo and singer-songwriter Billy Ray Cyrus traveled to the Standing Rock and Turtle Mountain reservations in North Dakota last weekend to encourage Native Americans to vote. [ABC News / Roey Hadar]
  • Heitkamp is one of the most vulnerable Democratic incumbents in the Senate, seeking reelection in a state that Donald Trump carried by nearly 36 points in 2016. Her reelection is crucial in the blue party’s efforts to regain control of the Senate. [The Cut / Irin Carmon]
  • In the meantime, Democratic candidates look strong in their House and governor campaigns. FiveThirtyEight gives the party a 6 in 7 chance of claiming the lower chamber of Congress while predicting Democrats will govern more than 196 million people in 2019 to the Republicans’ 133 million. [FiveThirtyEight]

An anti-gay crackdown in Tanzania

  • Thousands of LGBTQ people in Tanzania’s most populous city are fleeing the region or staying shut in their homes after a regional officer ordered mass arrests of gay people living there. [Fox News / Nicole Darrah]
  • Authorities are cracking down on homosexuality as part of a wider drive against prostitution and immorality. Paul Makonda, the regional officer, said they received an overwhelming response — more than 200 names — on the call to out LGBTQ people and prostitution rings. [AP]
  • Homophobic attitudes are not uncommon in Tanzania, where groups sometimes gang up on men who are simply walking down the street together. Activists say Makonda’s statement will further fuel violence, and that “every gay person is living in fear.” [Guardian / Rebecca Ratcliffe]
  • Makonda has formed a 17-member committee that will carry out the anti-gay crackdown. Its members will track LGBTQ Tanzanians through social media and other online forms of networking and then report them to the police, leading to their eventual arrest. [NBC News / Tim Fitzsimons]
  • Same-sex sexual acts are punishable in Tanzania by a prison sentence of 30 years to life, one of the harshest penalties in the world for same-sex intimacy. [Human Rights Watch]


  • Viola Davis and NBA star Steph Curry will team up to produce a new documentary based on the 2015 Charleston church shooting. [Twitter Moments]
  • After a rap video critical of Thailand’s military government became a viral sensation, the government responded by playing a “Thailand 4.0” rap video in return, while introducing Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha at an event. [AP / Kaweewit Kaewjinda]
  • An uninhabited tiny island off the northeastern coast of Japan has “gone missing”; it most likely slipped beneath the waves after years of being eroded by wind and drift ice. [Guardian / Justin McCurry]
  • A New York man thinks he’s finally found his missing father, who was last seen in 1961, after his sons unearthed a human skeleton in the family basement. [New York Post / Tamar Lapin]


“I laugh at my own jokes, even with the terrible ones.” [Elon Musk speaks to Recode on Halloween night about working 120-hour weeks, Donald Trump’s Space Force, his rabid fans on Twitter, dying on Mars, and more]

Watch this: Why American voter registrations are disappearing

And how to avoid the purge. [YouTube / Ranjani Chakraborty and Mallory Brangan]

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