Jackson County has decided to give up the fight about opening an in-person early voting center in Indian Country, making it the last county to do so. County officials signed an agreement with the state authorizing an in-person early voting station in Wanblee, which has a heavy Native American population. Various tribes and voting rights advocates have been asking counties to open voting stations in towns with large Native American populations, arguing that impoverished Indians couldn’t make the trip to county seats to cast early votes. Jackson County was the lone holdout, even after state officials had indicated that the county could use state Help America Vote Act funds to cover the expenses of opening a satellite voting station at Wanblee. The agreement means that the state will fund, and Jackson County will staff, an early voting station through the 2022 election.
An attorney for Jackson County filed a motion to dismiss a federal lawsuit brought to force the county to open the station in Wanblee. The motion to dismiss argues that because Jackson County has agreed to open the station through the 2022 election, there is no longer a controversy for the court to decide.
But the plaintiffs in the case are not calling it quits. In addition to demanding an early vote center in Wanblee, the plaintiffs also requested a federal judge to find that Jackson County had violated the 1965 Voting Rights Act. They asked the judge to force the county into what’s known as section 3 preclearance.
Full Article: County settles, but court case not over.