Federal judge refuses to dismiss Jackson County voting rights case involving tribal members


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RAPID CITY, South Dakota — A federal judge says a voting rights lawsuit that four Oglala Sioux tribal members filed against Jackson County can proceed.

County officials had asked U.S. District Judge Karen Schreier to dismiss the lawsuit, but the Rapid City Journal reports (http://bit.ly/1GRdwbw ) she's denied the motion. Schreier says the tribal members have provided enough information to support their allegations.

Plaintiffs argue the county's practice of offering in-person voter registration and in-person absentee voting only at the county courthouse in Kadoka discriminates against Native Americans living in the portion of the county that's within the Pine Ridge Reservation.

County officials agreed to open a satellite office for voter registration and early voting in Wanblee, but Schreier says that didn't absolve the county of its obligation to comply with the federal Voting Rights Act.

Information from: Rapid City Journal, http://www.rapidcityjournal.com

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