Law | Politics

Montana counties to open satellite voting offices on reservations

Mark Wandering Medicine, a member of the Northern Cheyenne Tribe in Montana, was the lead plaintiff in the Wandering Medicine voting rights lawsuit. Photo from National Commission on Voting Rights

Four counties in Montana have agreed to establish satellite voting offices on reservations this year and more counties are in discussions with tribes.

Roosevelt County, Glacier County, Rosebud County and Big Horn County confirmed they will provide services for the primary and general elections, Secretary of State Linda McCulloch announced on February 1. She also said Choteau, Pondera, Blaine, Lake, Hill and Valley counties might be doing the same.

Pondera County has offered to provide some services to voters on the Blackfeet Nation but has not agreed to a satellite office, according to news reports. Tribal leaders say they remain at a significant disadvantage compared to off-reservation residents: the drive from Heart Butte to the county seat is a two-hour round trip.

A settlement in Wandering Medicine v. McCulloch required some counties to establish satellite offices on some reservations. Last October, McCulloch issued a directive that called on all counties to work with all tribes.

Native Americans represent 6.6 percent of the state population, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Get the Story:
Blackfeet Tribe Calls For Better Voting Access In Pondera County (Montana Public Radio 2/25)
Blackfeet say voting proposal unacceptable (The Great Falls Tribune 2/24)
Report details challenges facing Indian voters (The Great Falls Tribune 2/12)

Join the Conversation

Related Stories:
Blackfeet Nation asks county to establish satellite voting office (01/28)
Fort Belknap Tribes ask county for voting offices on reservation (1/22)
Editorial: Make voting easier for Montana's original Americans (10/26)
Brandon Ecoffey: Powerful forces aim to keep out the Native vote (10/07)
Montana counties skirt Native voting rights case settlement (08/14)
President Obama: Voting Rights Act still a target after 50 years (8/12)
Voting Rights Act in focus with presidential election on horizon (8/7)
Stuart Delery: Safeguarding voting rights of the first Americans (05/29)
DOJ proposes bill to improve access to voting in Indian Country (05/22)
Chelsey Luger: Tribal ID cards should be treated with respect (11/07)
Mark Trahant: Native voters must be prepared on election day (10/30)
Zachary Pullin: Native Americans overcame barriers to voting (10/29)
Mark Trahant: Early voting begins on reservations in Montana (10/10)
Tony West: Protecting the right to vote for the first Americans (8/4)
DOJ to consult tribes about polling locations in Indian Country (6/10)
Native Sun News: Supreme Court sets back Indian voting rights (7/4)
Opinion: Justice Scalia doesn't understand Voting Rights Act (04/29)
Editorial: Voting Rights Act necessary to prevent discrimination (03/12)
Voting Rights Act challenged by Supreme Court conservatives (02/28)