June 2nd, 2008
05:13 PM ET
7 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. The Truth

    Why so much hate? Someone give me legitamate answers why they HATE the DNC and OBama....furthermores list me negative things BO has said about HRC or even about her character....?????????

    I think he has been a total Christian throughout this process!!!

    June 2, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  2. Tom in CA

    VOTE BOB BARR in 2008!

    VOTE BOB BARR in 2008!

    VOTE BOB BARR in 2008!

    VOTE BOB BARR in 2008!

    VOTE BOB BARR in 2008!

    VOTE BOB BARR in 2008!

    VOTE BOB BARR in 2008!

    VOTE BOB BARR in 2008!

    VOTE BOB BARR in 2008!

    VOTE BOB BARR in 2008!

    VOTE BOB BARR in 2008!

    June 2, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  3. skylark

    More Hategate. Yawwwwnnn.
    What the heck? Nothing on topic here.

    June 2, 2008 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  4. The Truth

    Michael Moore - said it best my friends

    June 2, 2008 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  5. better america

    I regret my last comment. I misspoke under sniper fire

    June 2, 2008 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  6. CNN loves Hillary

    If I have to see one more picture of HRC I am going to hurl!

    June 2, 2008 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  7. jofy

    Tejano.

    another confused individual...how do you go from Hillary to McCain. You know ,you are one of these people that vote just cause is a priviledge...have you followed this whole political run...obviously not..i will say the same thing I said to the other confused individual THomas...take a look at the economy, i'm sure you know someone that lost their home or lost their job..cant afford heathcare..these are the thing you vote for..STOP being so BITTER and think about it.

    June 2, 2008 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  8. The Truth

    What kind of EVIL people would supress a minority group and not allow them to Vote?

    June 2, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  9. Chris Jones

    FOR LUCY this wont make it to the CONVENTION GO HOME WITH BILLARY McCAIN

    June 2, 2008 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  10. CHANGE FOR AMERICA

    We are all Floridian ready to vote for OBAMA

    June 2, 2008 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  11. A Latte Lover, Seattle, WA

    I'm really glad to hear that. I know that in other states there have been problems with voting machines, etc., especially in states that have smaller minority (meaning non-white) populations. All the broken machines seem to be in these populations. Makes one wonder, I'm glad they are keeping an eye on things this time.

    June 2, 2008 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  12. jofy

    CNN PLEASE DON'T DELETE MY COMMENTS:

    POSTING AGAIN..

    I AGREE THAT LOU NEEDS TO BE FIRED....ALL HE TALKS ABOUT IS IMMIGRATION...I WONDER WHO BUILD HIS HOUSE AND WHO IS CUTTING HIS LAWN?

    CNN PLEASE POST THIS. WE ARE FREE TO EXPRESS OURSELVES...WHY HAVE THIS FORUM IF YOU CAN'T USE IT.

    June 2, 2008 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  13. Josh

    This is dumb. I'm leaving.

    June 2, 2008 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  14. Happily Independent

    The original Americans, the Native Americans, vote should be protected. Both Obama and Clinton supporters should work together to protect their votes.

    I do not like trust or like the Clintons. They are part of the reason after the 90's, I changed from a Democrat to an Independent. Many Clinton supporters do not like Obama. They are some things I like about Obama but I am probably more anti-Clinton than I am pro-Obama. I liked McCain back in 2000, but the 2008 McCain sold out to the Bush and the Republican establishment. He is no longer the maverick. Maybe Obama and Clinton can co-exist. If Obama is present, he can keep an eye on Clinton. For Hillary supporters, with Hillary present, she can keep an eye on Obama. I suppose both camps can agree to disagree. This is EXTREMELY difficult to say. Both camps should co-exist on one ticket to make sure that we do not get 4 more years of idiotic Bush policies by defeating John McCain.

    June 2, 2008 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  15. Enlightened Voter

    Honestly, I wouldn't put anything past the clinton's. They have shown how trifling they are. And the Indians endorsed Barack a while back.

    June 2, 2008 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  16. Mark

    BrutallyHonest- If you want to claim that Latinos will favor John McCain over Obama, your sadly mistaken. Go check the powitions of these two candidates on Latin American policies and see who they will actually favor...

    When the race gets to the final two, it will be painfully obvious to all that we can't have the same old policies that have gotten us into the mess we are in today...

    Obama 08'
    Democrats 08'
    Clinton for Secretary of State!

    June 2, 2008 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  17. Martin

    It doesn't really matter that McCain might beat Obama. The Hillary camp with their argument clearly state that Obama isn't good enough to beat John McCain. Well since Hillary can't beat Obama then clearly out of the three she's the inferior and failed candidate.

    Saying Obama isn't good enough does not validate Hillary Clinton, in fact it just exposes how truly pathetic and awful a candidate she is, EVEN Obama can beat her.

    June 2, 2008 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  18. Texan for Obama

    Hillary will try ANYTHING for just one more day. This stuff was tossed around here in Texas too and to no avail. If there were any voter rights violations it was the entrenched Texas democrats who WOULD NOT hand out the caucus packages until late late late in the evening well after the last voter. It was to discourage all those who turned out for Obama. That was the ONLY reason to do it.

    Not that it should matter but it always does seem to matter, for the record I am a proud Obamacan and a white older woman. Obama has won a whole lot more than just the black vote.

    June 2, 2008 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  19. sophia nyc

    I change my mind. I want Obama to choose Clinton for VP.
    Let's CRUSH the Republicans.

    June 2, 2008 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  20. Proud American

    Only an idiot or Republican would vote for McCain... wait a minute thats redundant.

    June 2, 2008 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  21. Susan MO

    SOUTH DAKOTA.........

    vote for HIllary,

    We have visited your state, and like it there. nice people!

    Please vote for Hillary Clinton

    June 2, 2008 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  22. Demo voting for Demo if the OB fans grows up

    You Obama fans need us we do not need you so stop the hate, you won this time but could lose in the fall. Grow up !!!!

    June 2, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  23. A Proud American

    It's an insult to the American people that we have to have the Feds watch an election to make sure that our Native Americans get treated fairly. What has this country come to? I thought we were the "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA". Anyone preventing Native Americans from voting should be dealt with through the legal system.

    June 2, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  24. noone in america

    dobbs has to go. petition signed.

    ps. just so cnn knows. I CHANGE THE CHANNEL! when he is on.

    June 2, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  25. Nathan

    Obama is something new, not a member of the old boys club. He has the potential to change the face of politics, he won't play the old game. Obama stands for real change, our hopes for the future can be entrusted with him.

    Obama 08'

    June 2, 2008 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
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