Secretary of State Linda McCulloch has directed counties that include reservations to establish satellite election offices, but tribal activists say she’s left a big loophole. McCulloch said she connected with tribal leaders and county election officials during the past three weeks and incorporated their feedback into her directive. She asked them to describe the needs of Indian voters and logistics of establishing the satellite offices. “The success of these election offices on reservations will depend upon cooperation between the counties and tribes, and from my conversations with both tribal leaders and election administrators, I am confident that the collaboration will be successful and that voting access will be increased where it is needed,” she said.
Counties must analyze whether a satellite office is needed, and tribes must request an office to have it be established. The tribal government will provide office space, phone and Internet connections for the office.
Counties will send a letter on Jan. 1 to tribal government informing tribal leaders they have until Jan. 31, or another agreed upon date, to request a satellite office.
Letting counties do their own analysis is “crazy,” said Bret Healy, a Native voting rights activist and a consultant for Four Directions in South Dakota. “I think we’ve got a fair amount of kicking and screaming of Linda McCulloch left to drag her to the promised land of voting equality,” he said.
Full Article: McCulloch orders counties establish satellite voting offices.