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. mary, Dallas, Tx

    So Hilliary has $40 million campaign debt and now wants Obama to help pay it off or she will continue to campaign to convention. This is called blackmail. Why is that story not posted on CNN?

    June 2, 2008 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  2. California Girl

    Obama will not get my family's vote. We will vote for McCain.

    Enough said!

    June 2, 2008 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  3. Cynthia

    Everyone's right to vote should be protected so this is a good thing.

    I also agree with Martin and Ty's comments. You can always count on Jack to tell it like it is.

    June 2, 2008 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  4. Priscilla California

    Amen Martin! I do the same thing. Thomas you are a sad case, do everyone a favor and crawl under the rock and wait for Hillary.

    June 2, 2008 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  5. Jack

    You people are pathetic, this is about the mistreatment of native americans not your sniffling because your candidate was`nt chosen.

    June 2, 2008 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  6. Carrie Goodeagle Hayden, Idaho

    I'm Native American, Shosone, and I'm voting for Obama because, I'm smart enough and informed enough to know he's the only one who can save Democracy for all the People,

    June 2, 2008 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  7. barack suporter

    It only 46 to get it on november

    June 2, 2008 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  8. Johnnie Walton

    Wolf Blitzer asks questions that have asked and answered a jagillion times and tries to lead the person being interviewed to the answer he would like to get. It is blatantly obvious that he is in the Clinton Camp and he should be impartial in his role.

    June 2, 2008 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  9. Clara

    They should have done this in all the states, so he couldn't cheat!

    June 2, 2008 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  10. JO


    OBAMA 08

    June 2, 2008 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  11. The Truth

    Hate is bad for you Health!!

    June 2, 2008 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |


    June 2, 2008 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  13. Independent-Cuban-American-woman-voter-for-Obama

    TO THOMAS "I hate Obama ..... I hate the DNC......" Why all the hatred? The people voted for Sen. Obama, he took Iowa, Missouri, New Mexico, etc., etc., why would you hate someone SO much that you would vote for and I quote "McCane"....... at least if you are going to vote for someone LEARN TO SPELL their name!

    Well, I see that there are still plenty of 'so-called-democrats' willing to vote for McCain, hope you will be proud of yourselves when our national debt continues to grow and the number of troops dying in Iraq or being maimed in Iraq grows.

    Anyone who would vote for McCain need their heads checked!

    And to "TO TELL THE TRUTH" get a grip.

    June 2, 2008 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  14. king from toronto

    yea thomas aka newbie!! lol wrong place! wrong time! lol. oh yea!! cnn needs to do something about lou(98% yes- 2% no) dobbs."seriously!!!

    June 2, 2008 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  15. lil

    Unbelieveable I throught this was over. I did not know the the people
    of South Dakota was still this back wards. I have not seen or heard this much
    talk about bigotry in years.

    Now I see the USA is the same as in the 60'S and 70's. There is too
    much hate and racism in this country and it coming out of the wood

    June 2, 2008 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  16. Tony

    With this upcoming convention it will remind me of the Presidential elections of 2000 when Al Gore received the greater popular vote, yet the White House went to Bush. Senator Obama cannot, from what I see, win states like Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida or Michigan and therefore we will end up with another 4 years of the status quo of the Bush regime. As a lifelong Democrat it pains me to have to vote independent if Barrack Obama receives the Democratic nomination. Since I cannot in good conscience cast a vote for John McCain nor can I cast a vote for Barrack Obama, I guess the only other options are Ralph Nader or write in “none of the above”

    I would also hope that my congressman here in Washington (Jim McDermott) as well as Governor Christine Gregoire change their endorsements, otherwise I won’t be able to cast a vote for either of them either.

    June 2, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  17. Carrie Goodeagle Hayden, Idaho

    Whoops, I spelled Shoshone incorrectly, I was in a hurry to get my point across. Also Great Great Grand daughter of Jim Bridger. So, all the Descendants of Chief Washakie and Jim Bridger, please vote for Obama. Thank you

    June 2, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  18. Denver, CO 4 Obama

    To Tell The Truth, please explain to me as a voter in a caucus state why my vote doesn't count in the "popular vote". Also explain how your candidate has obviously won without me and the 65% of the people in my precint who had to stand up in front of God and everyone and say I cast my vote for Obama. At least I have winesses to how I voted but somehow the Clintons say there was something fishy going on at the caucuses??? Please explain how something underhanded can happen when there are hundreds of witnesses? Oh I forgot, Clintons don't like witnesses.....

    June 2, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  19. Jen

    Well said Martin. LOU DOBBS should be removed from CNN. This man is using a public forum to spew his own venom and barely gives his guests a chance to finish what they said, unless he agrees with them. I would watch Wolf and Cafferty anytime and even rushes home to watch, making sue I get home after Lou Dobbs.

    June 2, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  20. BrutallyHonest

    The Hillary victories in Puerto Rico, California and other areas with a lot of latino votes are bad omen for Obama. This is a honest reality that Obama supporters need to accept.

    Obama clearly has not been able to convince Latino voters that he is a candidate that can unite all races. He is still viewed as a representative of the black minorities seen as competitors of Latinos, both in economic and political arenas in the nation.

    With the impending defeat of Hillary, the Latinos will be more challenged to see to it that Obama goes down in the general election. McCain is the more favorable candidate when faced against Obama. Coupled that with the white collar white voters bias, then you have a recipe for a GOP victory.

    June 2, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  21. Bill PA

    Hillary for President.

    June 2, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  22. Chut Pata

    martin: There are bigger hate mongers than Lou Dobbs e.g. Glen Back. They really belong to Fox but CNN is competing with Fox for far-right-hate-mongering viewers. What CNN does not realize is that no matter what, these viewers will stick to Fox as neither Glen Back, not Lou Dobs is of any match to the king of hate-mongers named O'Reilly

    June 2, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  23. leebee1963

    To Thomas,
    Ummmm who cares?!

    June 2, 2008 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  24. Tom in CA

    Thomas –

    If you can't stomach McCain or Clinton or Obama, then you're a Libertarian. VOTE BOB BARR in 2008!

    June 2, 2008 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  25. Bill PA

    John Smith you need help, however it's mental help you need.

    June 2, 2008 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
1 2 3 4 5