The Wanblee residents argue in the lawsuit that Jackson County is discriminating against Native Americans by not opening a satellite office in their community for voter registration and absentee voting, the Rapid City Journal (http://bit.ly/11aqVOs ) reported Sunday. Oglala Sioux Tribe vice president Thomas Poor Bear is among the plaintiffs. The plaintiffs on Friday filed a motion asking U.S. District Judge Karen Schreier to issue a preliminary injunction ordering the county to open a satellite office in Wanblee for the time left before the election. Jackson County auditor Vicki Wilson declined to comment on the details of the lawsuit. Meanwhile, South Dakota Secretary of State Jason Gant says all of the county’s residents have the same access to voter registration and absentee voting as every South Dakotan. “We are 100 percent equal across the state,” Gant said. “Every South Dakota county has at least one location within their county borders where people can absentee vote face-to-face.”
South Dakota residents can now request a voter registration form at the courthouse or online and mail it to the county auditor’s office.
The lawsuit claims Jackson County’s Native American residents have to travel twice as far as other residents to register in person or vote absentee. The plaintiffs say Wanblee is about 27 miles or a little more than 30 minutes by car from the county seat at Kadoka. They also argue that making the trip is a financial hardship on Native Americans.
Full Article: Native Americans say voting rights are violated – SFGate.