Law | Politics

Indian voters in Montana seek satellite offices on reservations

Fifteen Indian voters filed a lawsuit in Montana seeking satellite election offices on reservations.

The plaintiffs live on the Crow Reservation, the Northern Cheyenne Reservation and the Fort Belknap Reservation. They say the state and their respective counties are providing satellite offices for non-Indian communities while forcing Indian voters to travel far distances to participate in the electoral process.

“Our position is the state has the duty to provide the same opportunities for absentee voting as non-Indians,” attorney Terryl Matt told the Associated Press. “We have a system designed right now where non-Indians can walk in and vote (absentee). So why can’t Indians?”

Secretary of State Linda McCulloch told the AP that satellite offices are discretionary. She said the state can't force counties to open them.

The lawsuit was filed in federal court.

Get the Story:
Native Americans sue over lack of election services on Montana reservations (AP 10/11)
Tribal members sue for voting access (The Billings Gazette 10/11)

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