A federal judge has issued a split ruling in a lawsuit filed over vote-by-mail in Utah’s largest county. The Navajo Nation Human Rights Commission, backed by the ACLU of Utah, sued San Juan County over its decision to switch to vote-by-mail. They argue a reduced number of polling places burdens Navajo voters, who have to drive hours to vote. Navajo is also an unwritten language making vote-by-mail more difficult.
San Juan County leaders have maintained they have made more efforts to accommodate Navajo voters, including providing language assistance and opening more polling places.
In a ruling Thursday night, U.S. District Court Judge Jill Parrish rejected a request by the Navajo Nation Human Rights Commission to rule in their favor. However, the judge also rejected a request by San Juan County to dismiss the lawsuit outright.