Thursday, May 21, 2015

Justice Department to seek legislation to ease tribal polling woes

People were still voting when the Associated Press called South Dakota's 2014 US Senate race for the Republican candidate.
Justice Department officials said Thursday the department would seek legislation requiring states with Native American reservations or other tribal lands to locate at least one polling place in a venue selected by tribal governments. Attorney General Loretta Lynch says the changes are needed because "significant and unnecessary barriers" for American Indians and Alaska Natives who seek to cast ballots. [Rapid City Journal]
From Indian Country Today:
Jackson County, South Dakota, has dug in for a fight against Oglala Sioux plaintiffs who sued for a full-service satellite voting office on the portion of Pine Ridge Indian Reservation that overlaps the county. On May 11, Jackson County filed an answer to the Oglalas’ complaint. Bottom line, the judge now sets a scheduling order and the case moves forward, said one of the Oglala plaintiffs’ attorneys, Eileen O’Connor of Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. [South Dakota’s Last Stand—Ballot Boxes, Red Herrings and Custer Envy]
It's time for tribal nations trapped in Jackson County to secede and join Oglala Lakota County.

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