June 2nd, 2008
05:13 PM ET
10 years ago

Feds to watch for voting rights violations in South Dakota

Sen. Hillary Clinton campaigned in South Dakota last week.

Sen. Hillary Clinton campaigned in South Dakota last week.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Federal election monitors are being dispatched to South Dakota to protect Native American voting rights on Tuesday, the final day of primary elections in the Democratic presidential nomination race.

Officials in the Justice Department's civil rights division announced they would send an unspecified number of observers "to watch and record activities during voting hours at polling locations" in Todd, Shannon, Bennett, Jackson, and Mellette counties in South Dakota.

Native Americans comprise more than 94 percent of the population in Shannon County, and 85 percent of the population in Todd County. More than 40 percent of residents in the two counties live below the poverty line.

Native Americans make up more than 8 percent of the state's population, making them the largest minority group in South Dakota.

Several voting rights lawsuits have been filed in Todd and Shannon counties, which fall under a section of the Voting Rights Act which prohibits officials from changing voting procedures without Justice Department approval.

Courts have noted low voter turnout and found discriminatory efforts to dilute Native American representation through redistricting.

As is customary, Justice Department officials would not disclose exactly where the monitors will be nor what they will be looking for, but said any problems spotted would be reported promptly to government civil rights attorneys.

The Justice Department said it is also sending monitors to Perry County, Alabama; Alameda and Riverside Counties in California; Salem County, New Jersey; and Cibola and Sandoval counties in New Mexico to protect minority voting rights in Tuesday balloting.

Filed under: South Dakota
soundoff (116 Responses)
  1. To Tell The Truth

    Will the real Barack Obama please stand up?

    June 2, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  2. John Smith

    I need help, maybe my Intro to Logic Philisophy course was really that bad because I had it with an "experienced-old professor" (talking about experience).

    So, here is my question:

    If Hillary cannot even run an effective primary, as a stronger candidate, to defeat this young so-called "inexperienced professor of constitutional law of the U.S.", how can Hillary compete against a more seasoned McCain and the Republican Machine?

    The Republican Machine is waiting to open up their war-chests against Hillary and Bill.

    Please, let an active supporter of Hillary respond to my dilemma; I await your answer. Thank you for your "honesty."

    June 2, 2008 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  3. martin


    June 2, 2008 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  4. Drew, Central FL

    Ahem, to Tell the Truth. Would the media please report on Peter Paul v. Clinton. The real Hillary has already stood up.

    June 2, 2008 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  5. Thomas

    I hate Obama... I hate the DNC... I dont like McCane...

    Guess I have less bad feelings for the middle voting McCane the ultra left wing Obama and DNC..

    McCane 08? I guess

    June 2, 2008 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  6. Ty

    I second that Martin. Cafferty dominates. I'm tired of Lou saying the exact same stuff everyday and pretending he knows it all.

    June 2, 2008 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  7. Theresa

    Obviously Thomas is a newbie to the race since he can't even spell McCain. Oh dear...

    Haters never prosper.

    June 2, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  8. Chris Jones

    go home Thomas, sounds like you dont even know what is really going on

    June 2, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  9. To Tell The Truth

    Q: How many Obama supporters does it take to change a lightbulb?
    A: That's not funny.

    June 2, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  10. Helen

    Good! Make sure Native Americans have their votes counted. Actually, since they are the only true, native, Americans voting, their votes should pack more weight, considering how much our government has taken from them and how persecuted they have been.

    June 2, 2008 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  11. Lucy

    To John Smith...are you a bitter ,angry little man?

    June 2, 2008 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  12. smw

    McCain "middle"? Obama "left wing"? It's hard to say which of those adjectives is more bizarre - McC is a right wing hawk who wants to cut taxes for the rich and services for the needy, and Obama is a run-of-the-mill moderate liberal in the Clinton mode (as evidenced by the fact that there are hardly any policy differences between him and Hill). Could you Americans please please learn to vote for policy rather than for persona? this could become a halfway decent country....

    June 2, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  13. A Texas Voter

    Thomas you make me laugh, when you say McCain 08? I guess, It would be better if you did not vote hard to say that. if you are a good democrat why would you vote for the republican, you really need to look at that!!!

    June 2, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  14. Chris Jones

    To Tell The Truth, that is what Hilary should start doing. AHAaa

    June 2, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  15. Tejano

    Where were the monitors when the Obama supporters manhandled the Clinton delegates in the Texas Caucuses. Obama will do anything to win. To the DNC, don't shove this Radical Marxist down our throats. We want Hillary or McCain.

    June 2, 2008 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |

    Good, there's too much mess going around in every state. One state down south that I called to encourage people to vote I was told had tables for blacks only and whites only, now you tell me if that is not a violation of rights. People there is still a long road ahead of us, but we can do it, together! YES WE CAN!!!


    June 2, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  17. nick

    john smith – don't expect a response on hillary. her supporters are not internet-ready. they are the uninformed blue collar voters that vote based on name -recognition and not on intelligence.

    June 2, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  18. Whitey

    How about protecting the rights of White voters. We are now the forgotten miinority. We get to pay the bills for all you freeloaders.

    June 2, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  19. M.S. Indiana

    Good choice, but a little late, think they should have started in Texas where Hillary 'won'....

    June 2, 2008 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  20. Lisa

    Thomas..GO AWAY!! Idiot

    June 2, 2008 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  21. Chris Jones

    52% Obama, 41% Clinton in NEW National POLLS. Bye Bye BILLARY PIE, everything out of your mouth seems to be a LIE

    June 2, 2008 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  22. Lucy

    How many Obama supporter's does it take to change a lightbulb? This goes to "To Tell the Truth"...just wondering. I'm actually a Hillary fan all the way to the convention and beyond to the Presidency. Nobama or NoMcSame

    June 2, 2008 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  23. Thomas

    Its fun winding up Obama supporters so quick to get upset and play the race card I lol at you.. Theresa haters do prosper Obama won the primary you cant find a bigger hater then Obama and his "friends"

    McCain 08'

    June 2, 2008 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  24. better america

    will the racists on this blog please go away. everyone is getting fed up with you. thanks

    June 2, 2008 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  25. Thomas

    "go home Thomas, sounds like you dont even know what is really going on" – What is going on is Obama supporters are easy to wind up, p.s im sorry your name is Chris Jones what a hack like Obaaaamaaaa

    June 2, 2008 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
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