Furthermore, the solution the voters asked for was not feasible, just weeks before the election, and would not fix the problem, the court said. “Even assuming that it is possible to tell whether a given mail ballot originated from the reservation and not somewhere else in the precinct, the record does not indicate how to tell whether the ballot was cast by an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation,” the court wrote, pointing out that not everyone on the reservation is an enrolled tribal member. Hansen said her office has put some measures in place to make sure mailed ballots are not delayed, such as having the Postal Service “trap” ballots in Flagstaff so they “don’t get sent down to Phoenix and back up here.” “We try really hard to make sure we can count the ballots … and try to go the extra mile,” she said.
An update on our #NativeVote2020 Navajo Nation GOTV program. Please consider making a donation using the link in our profile to support our programs. And visit us at https://t.co/5P85DxKNJ5 for more links and information. pic.twitter.com/sCqW6Du9uY— Four Directions Native Vote (@4directionsvote) October 18, 2020
The court also cited the Purcell doctrine – named for former Maricopa County Recorder Helen Purcell – which discourages court-ordered changes to election procedures close to Election Day. “Dismissal of this last-minute challenge to a decades-old rule should be fair notice to plaintiffs who want to tackle the deadline in the future,” the court said. Healy said time is not the only challenge Native Americans face in court. “I’m not sure when a Native American plaintiff would have to bring a case to be successful,” he said.
Sec. Hobbs: Yazzie v Hobbs lead plaintiff Darlene Yazzie “had to complete her ballot the moment she received it — in the doorway of the Dennehotso post office, which social-distancing rules forbade her to enter — because taking it home might have meant submitting it too late.” https://t.co/04JFnX8k1D— Four Directions Native Vote (@4directionsvote) October 15, 2020
Note: This story originally appeared on Cronkite News. It is published via a Creative Commons license. Cronkite News is produced by the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.
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