North Dakota's Democratic senator on Thursday appeared to discourage hunters, who lean Republican at the ballot box, from voting. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp warned people with a hunting license in another state to "understand the consequences of voting."
North Dakota's branch of the Democratic Party released a pair of ads, first flagged by North Dakota columnist Rob Port, warning hunters that voting in the state could result in the loss of any hunting licenses they hold in other states.
"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," the ads said.
A reporter asked Heitkamp if she knew anything about the party's ads.
"A lot of the kind of transition that people have on voting it means you're a resident. It means you pay taxes here. It means that if you want a residential hunting license in Minnesota you aren't going to get that if you vote here. And so I think it's really important that people understand the consequences of voting, and that goes to taxes and things like your hunting," Heitkamp responded.
The reporter then asked if one could lose a hunting license by voting in North Dakota.
"If your hunting license is a residential hunting license in another state," Heitkamp said.
A spokesman for North Dakota Gaming and Fish said he had never heard of hunters losing their licenses after voting in North Dakota.
Heitkamp is trailing against her opponent, Rep. Kevin Cramer (R., N.D.), by as many as 16 points in recent polls.