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. ASUSweetie313

    In regards to the article, I am pleased to see that there are still entities of our government willing to stand up for minorities, as is their duty too.

    In regards to the presidential candidates, it would be nice to see a respectful debate amongst fellow American’s, but if we can’t even respect each other and our opinions, how are we to expect even one candidate to “unite” us. As individuals, we need to take more accountability for who we are and what our country has become instead of placing all blame on an elected official.

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

    The one thing I can't understand are people who claim they will vote for McCain instead of Obama. To all the women who are thinking this way I have one statement and I think an important one. If you vote for McCain then your right to choose will be gone 100% for sure. So you have to think what is more important voting for McCain out of anger or voting to make sure that your right to choose still exists. I will leave it up to all of you.

    June 2, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  3. David, Santa Rosa, CA

    Is the photo meant to imply that Hillary would consider cheating?

    Go Dems! Let's throw these crooks out of office and move ahead.

    June 2, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |

    The people who really control ALL POLITICS have accomplished their goals. Make the people ARGUE WITH EACH OTHER so that they won't know what's really going on. GOOD JOB!

    June 2, 2008 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  5. coretta

    I can not believe the Hillary supporters who are Democrats that say they would not vote for Obama. Iam an African American woman that have been voting for white males for president since I was 18years old. If I used race as a issue I would never vote. Get over your racism, because that is what it is.

    June 2, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  6. Bob H.

    Why is Sen. Clinton's picture with this story

    June 2, 2008 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  7. Noel

    Hillary is the best candidate to solve our problems with Iraq, the economy and health. Montana and South Dakota please vote for Hillary.

    June 2, 2008 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  8. Ernest

    You have fought a great battle, but it is time to go and take care of your husband before another infidelity scandal.

    June 2, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  9. anthony

    to california girl so what keep your vote give it to mcain your not a true dem anyway and thats why people are so divided now because of people like you our country is in shambles and all you and your family is doing is adding to the problem

    June 2, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  10. jr.

    I see dacha boo all over again a wrong person getting elected President again only by fame not by being the smart one. Vote for Hillary she knows how many states she’s going to represent, we know is not 57+,and not claiming to have experience on diplomacy since six years old . Come on do we Americans look that dumb.

    June 2, 2008 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  11. The Truth


    All of you so called Democrats who support Clinton and claim will vote for McLame……….

    Leave your membership and keys at the door and dont let it hit you on your way out…we dont need or want you!

    Hillary supporters who will still back the Democratic nominee, who will be Obama…..You are welcomed, …enjoy all the danish and coffee.

    OBAMA '08!

    June 2, 2008 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  12. Francesca

    Excellent idea to keep an eye on those Obama cheaters that threaten voters to vote for Obama.

    June 2, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  13. Demo voting for Demo if the OB fans grows up

    Nobody really hates Obama, it's the fans that makes us upset with the party...people need to grow up and stop cracking on Hillary, she lost a good fight now leave her and her supporters alone and learn how to unite

    June 2, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  14. Viet Nam Vet

    That's ok Carrie Goodeagle-I'm Wite, Irish,Scottish, English, Indian American but I shorten it up to American. I will Vote for Obama.

    June 2, 2008 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  15. Jacklyn, NC

    Sorry, but this is a great thing to do justice for the Indians in the U.S. of America. Let's go every VOTE should count and Obama has won it!!! Whoa Who!!!!!

    June 2, 2008 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  16. NickNas

    WOW I feel sorry for you Hillabots...well not really What I feel sorry for is so many " Adults" act the way you people do. I think you should ALL have the right to sit home and not vote or even vote for McCain OR even write Hillarys name in as a protest. Do what ever you want. That is why Veterans like myself went to defend that right for you and just didn't sit home a WHINE about others doing the same........Like you.

    June 2, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  17. Darryl M. Arlington TX

    I love Hillary but she needs to know when to walk away? Now, is that time..

    We love you Hillary, Goodbye

    June 2, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  18. 2008/2012 No Pres.No V P 4 Mc Clinton

    I noticed there were several photos of Hillary on this site in just hours one after another of her .Geeeeeeeeez what is up on here

    June 2, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  19. Ann Romero

    Good Luck Obama you got what you wanted President due to the CNN network, the news media gave you the all the support. Hillary Clinton is still far better to run the country. I guess the media will praise you until you fail and then they will destroy you like they do with all the Presidents of the United States. It only news, the only good thing that CNN has going is Lou Dobbs.

    June 2, 2008 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  20. Native American

    Redistricting is a clever hack to diminish relative voting power... to turn a state "blue" or "red.," depending on who's doing the redistricting. Monitoring an election does not protect voter rights, when their rights are being violated by redistricting.

    June 2, 2008 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |


    June 2, 2008 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  22. Tejano

    I am bitter and will hold on to my religion and my guns. At least until Obama takes over and then we may not have either of them.

    June 2, 2008 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  23. David, Santa Rosa, CA

    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 !!!!

    As an Obama supporter, I think "Demo voting for Demo if the OB fans grow up.".. makes a point. No matter what we believe, we need to understand that they believe just as ardently.

    June 2, 2008 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  24. Michael Lewis

    I love this country. All of this political bickering and no one has gotten hurt. What other country in the world has a political process like ours. Of all the problems we have with elections, politics, and controversy
    The United States of America is still the best place to live in the world.

    Let us Unite!

    June 2, 2008 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  25. tina

    ......i dont understand some of the people supporting hillary clinton.. personally i love both hillary and obama, i think its amazing that we have a woman and a african american running to be our president. what i dont understand is that if hillary does not win the primary... you could switch to McCain. i mean that totally goes agianst your democratic values. I guess what im trying to say is, even hillary said voting for McCain would be a mistake, if she didn't win the primary, i think alot of people are acting like sore losers.

    June 2, 2008 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
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