Members of the Navajo Nation Human Rights Commission (NNHRC) attended the September 1 meeting of the San Juan County Commission to express concern about voting rights in San Juan County. Leonard Gorman, the Executive Director of the NNHRC and Lauren Benally, a policy analyst, said they are concerned about the county policy to hold elections by mail-in only ballot. Gorman said it was too late to respond to the new policy by the time they became aware of the procedure last year. And, he added, now the primary election for 2015 has been held in the same manner. Gorman said he is concerned that the policy can be used as a way to screen voters. He backed up this claim by saying he had polled the post office on the reservation and was told that a lot of ballots were thrown away in the garbage at the post office.
Gorman said he mailed postcards from two county facilities back to himself in Window Rock, AZ. He reports that the mail from the Montezuma Creek Post Office was not postmarked until it reached Provo, UT and the mail from Navajo Mountain was postmarked in Phoenix, AZ.
Gorman said this is proof that ballots could be received and not counted, as the postmark would indicate they were not mailed timely, when that may not actually have been the case.