Nightline midterms 2018: Issues you need to know about

Nightline looks at voting rights issues and key races in the 2018 midterm elections.
3:00 | 11/06/18

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Transcript for Nightline midterms 2018: Issues you need to know about
We should say that my colleagues and I at ABC news Nightline have spent much of this election season traveling all over the country taking a look at some of the most interesting races from Texas. To North Dakota to Georgia here's a look now at some of our report. Fast and untouched. North Dakota has been a sacred land of several native American tribes for thousands of years. Center. The United States and this probably is not part of this country. And most recently this land a political flash point. That highly publicized conflict over the code access headline. Like these native Americans championed by advocates and celebrities like actor mark buffalo and musician Dave Matthews. And who knows that they stood up against. Whom enormous costs to try and prevent this I've learned from going through. Peacefully. Kindly remarkably. Now once again this community is under the spotlight makes yeah. This time because of a new idea laugh some say is intended to make it more difficult for residents here to vote. Just before the mid term election. As long as they get the pools. To pre show when reading that piece of paper. About six. He percent of native Americans in North Dakota live on reservations. Where many residents lack street addresses because the US Postal Service does not provide them with residential delivery services so many native Americans use a PO box to receive their mail. But now in order to vote you have to have a residential address. That didn't used to be a problem because there were other ways to prove your residents seemed like signing an affidavit are having a poll worker vouch for you. But in 2013 to see legislature did away with those backup options. Making it harder to vote especially for native Americans live on reservations. Did not believe are nice. To you but Gary Gates weird. Streets and fox is. Phyllis young is a native American rights activist we didn't beauty and it's an hour. We're be forced to create peace. Ten. Mean actresses wore our. Bullying threats. A legal battle over the new law in suit with the US Supreme Court upholding it on October 9. Felony here. Even the native American communities scrambling to ensure residents have the proper identification to cast their vote as he had it right out to vote no. Now. Pack here at the get out the vote headquarters eighteen has been working nonstop for week. I believe got a vanity. Some of these are all you can get her back neck okay and we're going through willow blaze people like favorite vocalist for. It's critical election nationwide. It's going to me difference. In the congress. Where in the leadership in this country. Critics say it smacks of voter suppression. But secretary of state Albin Jaeger says the law was needed and that his office had difficulty verifying voter identities. There was about 3600. That we couldn't vote on Election Day 97 to 90%. Of the people that'll come to vote. We'll have. This condition. Going to be good will be able to world. With no problem. Those last 23%. We're doing everything we can to what their options you know. That to do 3% affected most likely native American voters and because this group tends to vote for Democrats. The new voter ID law matters a lot to senator Heidi hi camp. Hi camp is the only state wide elected Democrat in a deeply red state that went for president trump by a whopping 36 points. She's recently faced backlash for voting against the confirmation of Supreme Court justice Brett Cavanaugh. I can't get up in the morning and look at the life experience that I've had and say. You have to judge cabinet if it all comes down to that decision for some voters but the worth your mind meaning judgment based on what I saw. And what I heard. And this is a judgment that's not just about the voters today this is about thirty years of voters in North Dakota thirty years of people yet to be. I have no regrets. Are you really. I can't won her seat in 2012 I just roughly 3000 votes. Cookies keenly aware that every vote counts the first thing yet you have to be concerned about is. Com people who have a right to vote we'll be able to. Secretary of state Jaeger denies the voter ID law was designed to disenfranchise native Americans consider this from us. To turn his season. But just this week one of the tribes along with six individuals took emergency legal action seeking relief from this requirement that native Americans who live on or near reservations prove a residential address. An across the state activists are trying to rally local and national city. Work well one idea is really inform people about their in their power as voters here in this day and the affect of this law really. How is created this very for American Indian voters prairie rose seminal is helping to raise awareness about the new ID requirements. Yeah. And massive get out the vote concert headlined by Dave Matthews so let's suppose they continue to Bruins. So that we can drive. Intern. Yeah. People that are being affected by this home. Are people who had. Lived. Cal's. Don't use. His name after. And they are being asked you couldn't. Again. That this is there. He did is despicable. And upland is. Unforgivable. But it's the law so. We have to deal with it. Matthews began working with standing rot before the Dakota access pipeline conflict. Adopting the local elementary school he says now twice in recent years this community has had to lead by example people brought. There disappointment. And the hopelessness. Here. To stand with them which isn't what it was as a weight which lifts you up and also. He's a bird and and it's remarkable how. Successfully. They've. Gracefully. They've come out of that some form. Hey did you think. Pretty wild right below. Actor mark rob Lowe's also putting his star power behind the issue these people have a. The reason. Plenty of reasons not to vote. And I get that from you know. But I will say this whoever wins you better do right by these people for one. The system has failed us but we can't change and that's who show up and when we start showing up. Messenger they stop us so that's what gives me hope and I I'm gonna keep fighting for a for Nightline I'm Mary Bruce in North Dakota. Tonight come home and many thought would never nothing. Prison in trump taking the stage with his former slowed senator Ted Cruz. The Indian. God bless president Donald Trump. He's pumped detectives a longtime Republican strongholds. Like to get to sure up support in his seat for Democrats. Seem to be gained ground. Opponent in this race is a stone. Voting. Left of Elizabeth Warren to the left of Bernie Sanders and the stated Texas. It's not gonna stand towards. Here the senate race between cruise and rising democratic star back to our work is still consequential. And surprising close you'll find. Polygraph. To make things better Boeing win. Texas is he deeply red state but it is changing and changing fast. It sits there is it be red target for Democrats they recognize. That if they can start the flow Texas it changes the entire nationwide electoral map. With mid term election just two weeks it way we traveled to the lone star state to go behind the scenes with both can't. Brings to the finish line. Front and center in this. Diversity immigration. We have people of Texas words rewrite for example or immigration laws. In our own image from our own experience only want to secure the border and keep our communities and our families safe. In recent days trump announced that he is considering militarization. Of the border. Cruz who has had a strong hold on his senate seat since 2013. Telling her life. Yes are now. Do you support what pricing reporter you know militarized as it is a politically charged word we need to deploy whatever law enforcement resources are necessary so that the act to prevent crossing the border so that means listen if you've got to care of by a fan of thousands of people. Pledging. To violate the laws and cross here illegally of course we should do whatever Jesse. Congressman or work sees things differently he grew up in the border town of El Paso. And speaks fluent Spanish. You say you want to secure the borders can you do that without a wall need to do that without knowledge right in the border so we don't need a wall to answer question only to militarized. The border if things are so desperate in Guatemala Honduras El Salvador that someone would risk their lives to come here and what can we do to improve conditions there. His stance on immigration is not the only thing going against the grain in this state that's been red for decades. Your pro gun controlling your pro immigration and you are pro choice here. Pro pot. I mean characterize the positions you just described a little bit differently but what I'll tell you is that in each of them are found common ground. In the state of Texas these are human values American dogs Texan values Cuddy super aggressive protect that no. Oh Burks campaign strategy is to try to appeal to the common man he has made an effort to travel to every county in the state. Real people make in this town and expanded his brand nationally through social media life stream mean everything. And it's worked he's raised a record 38 million dollars and the last three months. It. There were vaccinated the united oh yeah okay. How do you translate and I'm mad cow and you turn out. So. You show up everywhere. We we've we. One of the most simple obvious strategies that I've seen employed and in a modern campaign we just literary show up everywhere all the time for everyone. Cruises opened up a bit of a wider lead but everyone attach a campaign knows it is a potentially softly for senator Ted Cruz. His campaign strategy deeply tax it's so this is a legitimate stockyards where we are. Getting ready to witness this Ted Cruz rally. I'm having because I have kids record. Bob our religious slipping to Second Amendment right. For supporters nagging right has kind of cruised for years even movie and I like to reduce. Brian van were fanatical supporter tech you. No aren't nice people get wedding anniversary and I'm husband asked me what I want him and I'm here to know when she sent to increase the president of the. But he lost that race and now to the surprise of many he's ally any himself. With a man who line I had been proud to work hand in hand with president trump. Citizens had some really reprehensible things about one another this man as a pathological. Lie detector is glad that Donald your us nibbling cowardly hide it alone. Post things not true anymore look I have no interest in revisiting the comments of point six you've moved on I've got a job to do and my job is forward looking this president. And just today the president cozy enough is well. That I had is beautiful. These facts I thought text instead if your friend this year how do you describe hearing that he suppressed. And he's the president I work with the president. He in delivering on our promises crew used touts his track record to galvanize the vote. Texas is booming economy is going great and yet my opponent they'll work what does he want to do higher taxes higher regulation bill back. To the Obama economy's stagnation that will be really bad for. Statement last week his opponent also took a page in the Donald Trump's playbook. Even though O Rourke has vowed to run a positive campaign. He's dishonest it's why the president called blinds add up and it's why the nickname stuck. Because it's true that wasn't the best phrase for me to use it's something that leapt to mind as he began the debate with eight in another. Why but there you go. But you don't up on I do my best to stay focused. On the future. And part of that focus isn't attracting minority voters. I look at meadow court and it seems like he hasn't shaved feeling and I love can be. To help all people not to take the living room. As a person erased and mix thick and Mexican American now a mother and is he checked. He fans for the value thanks Dan Clarke. The idea that Texas is ripe for the picking it is powered by. The the growing minority populations are growing young voter population it is almost inevitable Texas ultimately turns pollute the question is the debts or Rourke. Find this moment. With this race is still up for grabs and in the current political climate not everyone is voting down party lines you'll find yourself I don't well. How many in protectors. Cricket how many of you plan on voting for pat O'Rourke. And Burr most of these women this is the first tying and they'll be voting for a Democrat. For so long before. But that Republicans would get fees of I think let me let me see happening the eat this not a fashion and people of color I have. People who are Seeking Asylum and refugee is how have. When men. And it feels like a lot about it coming from the Republican Party at this point what has better downturn about you get. NEM a broader option. He is it said. I'm gonna work on both sides is that I'm not running like. The Democratic Party and running for the people cruises supporters see their votes as value prince TU. Big fans attending. We're. Our concern and I. According to a news. With early voting beginning today the stakes are only getting higher as we wait to find out if this a red state. We'll turn blue for Nightline I'm Paula Ferris. And Dallas. We're driving along I 85 it might be a race for the governor's mansion in Georgia but this is one that the entire country just watch. In the red state of Georgia with a vicious bride and the T is sweet and politics are about his bare knuckle as it comes. This is a battle for the flow of our bill we have an opponent of the architect voters. And historic race in a dead heat. Partly because of Stacy Abrams 44 year old democratic leader in the Georgia house. I'm Stacey Abrams and I'm running for governor who if elected would become the first black female governor of any state in US history. We want. All of Georgia to see themselves reflected in my leadership and yes I'll be the first black woman to be the governor in history the United States. But what that also means that I'm opening the door for the next person and the person after. That president trump captured the state by a little over five points so here it seems the prize is much more than a government title. It just may be for the soul of the south even as long standing allegations of voter suppression some or all the candidates themselves. Polar opposites. Republicans trump backed Brian cant. Georgia's current secretary of state. I got big truck. Just in case of made to round up criminal illegals and take a moment self. Yeah this that that. He's an apologetic leak conservative. A staunch supporter of the Second Amendment. Religious liberty legislation and stricter immigration laws. We are building a red wall. Right here in the society. He browns running unabashedly as a progressive. Advocating for LG BTQ equality stricter gun control and the expansion of Medicaid there hasn't been. A democratic governor here in more than fifteen years guess that you had black woman progressive. Can change that's astle it. Because Jordan has changed in the last twenty years and and her supporters. Even Kennedy's seat is bigger than her. Absolutely dredges ready for progressive Democrat I mean this is the birthplace of civil rights. Abrams has attracted major star power we need a broker Stacey Abrams with celebrity endorsements from John Legend and Will Ferrell wars. Few days even Oprah is campaigning with her on Thursday and former President Obama joining her later this week. Her opponent has used that to his advantage. That is not Georgia bags. That is values of California. Or New York. You've had a lot of funding from outside sources are you running a state campaign or national we're running a locally can't locally ground campaign is actually -- have more than five times the number of individual donors. From the state authority giving us. Bryan camp a debt of three daughters has gotten perhaps the only endorsement he needs from the commander in chief himself. President trump tweeting recently that camp will be a great governor and will campaign for him right before the election. That resonated with Ted the dummy and his daughter Tatyana at a camp campaign event here in Jessup Georgia. We don't need. Ralph. We love child and I listened to some of the things. Burdensome in his right along behind me my concern. Anyhow you. Utility during his campaign declined our request work formal interview so we caught up with him and one of dissidents. And likely conservatives they could be so tight and you're facing I have and in all progressive. Well played the race through an innocent and a lot of momentum and friends and all around the country. It's nice he's just not room motivated explains a couple of weeks ago. At the heart of this battle for Georgia's future what critics say is a blatant attempt by Republicans to intimidate voters of color. Image Bondra and a longtime civil rights lawyer says he's watched it happen for decades. There is a history of voter suppression. Not only here. That nation wide. In fact an eight key report found it 3000 voter registration applications are on hold. Thanks to a so called. Exactly match law requiring applicants information to exactly match other government records somewhat misplaced Heisman or middle initial install an application and a vote. Secretary of state Kim is the architect of that law saying he's trying to prevent voter fraud. You talked about on another wouldn't have voter suppression people are saying that. But I need hustled. That's a myth that if the Democrats bring out every two years we have a record number of people who are voting rolls. But there's this DTL the majority of those 53000. Voter applications. Are overwhelmingly. Minority voters. Voters who often choose Democrats most of those voters can still cast a ballot as long as they bring a photo ID to the polls. So what do you think it's. An impressive everybody I can't tell us we got a big nights you don't allow about that that minority participation as a winning 3% in Jordan when he 3% that's what you numerous awards and not slowly and yes and now voters in front. Whether it's five people are 5000 people or 50000 people. He's got this thing here in teeth that every Georgian who's eligible gets registered to vote and instead he is purged them. Exact match doesn't just apply to registrations. There's also a signatures requirement allowing officials to tossed absentee ballots and applications. If a signature doesn't match the one on file. The ACLU and other groups have filed lawsuits claiming hundreds of absentee ballots and applications. Were tossed. Judge halted at practice last week and can't appealed calling absentee voting up privilege and a convenience. College student Lana going Tia was eager to cast her absentee ballot especially as a Latina voter. It's pretty exciting to have opportunities have a say in and some big decisions for accede. Her class and work schedule wouldn't allow her to make the hour drive to vote in person. I made sure to fill about practically and then send today and and then probably. About two weeks after race and today as when I got noticed that it had been rejected I think looks like mine are ones that scary in Osaka K cap. She was told her signatures didn't match. I wasn't given a process Q we know fix my ballot or how to reinstated prior to reach. Under the voting rights act states which had a history of voter disenfranchisement. Were monitored by the federal government. But it's when he thirteen Supreme Court ruling on did that requirement. If you've been on this case. For a long time do you feel put on backwards and I am both surprised and disappointed that we are going in the opposite direction. Making it harder for people to vote. Federal study looked at those southern state in examine five kinds of voter suppression tactics. Georgia the study says was the only state to have adopted all five. Mr. Kemp has created an atmosphere of fear around the right to know the state of Georgia Abrams calling on her opponent to step down but camp is standing firm. Not to go its office to serve as secretary of state masses actually what I'm gonna continue to do Comden and exact same thing that Democrat Kathy Cox was doing when she was running for governor. Their fate is now in the hands of voters and he. Believes in the same values that. Conservative. Ladies and secondly look. Lower tax. This police in the same time conservative things. CC Abrams represents the future Georgia's I want to see if it's hanging from women and people of color TV and power. It's clear georgians are eager to decide the future of their state. As long as that unappealing animal rights the right to vote is not taken away for Nightline I'm Deborah rapids in Noonan Georgia.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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