Judge backs Spirit Lake Dakotah Nation in voting rights dispute
A federal judge ordered Benson County in North Dakota to open polling sites on the Spirit Lake Dakotah Nation.

Judge Ralph Erickson said there was no evidence the county intentionally discriminated when it decided to close all polling sites on the reservation. Nonetheless, he said the county's action will cause "irreparable harm" to Indian voters.

“I felt that the previous decision by the Benson County Commission to close long-established polling sites on the Spirit Lake Reservation would disenfranchise many of our state’s Native American voters," Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-North Dakota) said in a press release.

Erickson said the county must re-establish two polling sites on the reservation for the November 2 election.

Get the Story:
Judge orders Benson County reservation voting sites open (The Grand Forks Herald 10/22)
County Can't Close Polling Places on N.D. Reservation (Courthouse News 10/22)
Judge orders ND reservation voting sites open (AP 10/22)

Related Stories:
Ruling expected in Spirit Lake Dakotah Nation voting rights case (10/20)
David Gipp: Indian voting rights abused in North Dakota county (10/19)
Sen. Dorgan backs Spirit Lake Dakotah Nation in voting dispute (10/13)
Spirit Lake Dakotah Nation sues county for voting rights again (10/12)
Spirit Lake Dakotah Nation files suit over lack of polling sites (10/11)
Editorial: Spirit Lake Dakotah Nation needs its own polling place (10/6)