June 2nd, 2008
05:13 PM ET
12 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. Sylvia Johnsen

    In keeping with their condecending campaign Obama offers a "planned surrender" to Clinton including the position of Secretary of Health in a cabinet most likely not to happen (because he will loose).

    Secretary of Health, that's rich! Obama offers Clinton the job of explaining to people why his universal health-care plan fails to cover 15 million Americans.

    Clinton beats Obama on issues, merits and character. Clinton 08!

    June 2, 2008 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  2. Griff

    Pelosi's, Supposes that she'lll get thge Rose's... The real Joke-is. She finnish up with the Croak-us....l

    June 2, 2008 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  3. PCS / North Carolina

    Noel wrote June 2nd, 2008 6:54 pm ET

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

    There is no problem, if Hillary did not vote for the Iraq war. Hillary helped to create the problem!

    How is Hillary going to fix the economy, when she even can not run her own campaign?

    She couldn't fix Health care when she was in the white house, but instead created the disastrous H.M.O system.

    June 2, 2008 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  4. The DNC has SPOKEN!!!

    She has not proven to be stronger against McCain. She feels safe fighting a candidate from her own party, instead of setting her sights on the real enemy. I am not convinced.

    June 2, 2008 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  5. BJ

    This is so amusing. I can't wait to get home to read about the accusations aimed at Obama on all the sites. Now he is accused of cheating. Hillarious I say. Anytime you change the rules in the middle or at the end that is known as cheating. Who moved the Goal Post/Required number of delegates each time a primary was over. Who wanted ALL of the delegates from one state to be given to them (her). Enough said. None of the old tactics worked this time around.

    June 2, 2008 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  6. emmaAtlanta

    I will continue to post this until it stops awaiting moderation.

    I have refused to trust Obama solely because of his numerous baggages. He has Rezcko, Bill Ayers, the underworlds, Rev. Wright and now the White Dramatic Pastor. If all these come together under one roof, (probably during inauguration) wonders shall not end. The Democratic party has disintegrated and it will take Hillary as President to unite the party. Go Hillary, Don't give up. We are solidly behind you to go all the way to Denver in August.

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

    Hey Tim- don't worry about Roe v. Wade. You Obama supporters are all so intelligent, why do you need it? Can't you figure out how to use the umpteen methods of birth control available thanks to the Hillary generation? By the way, the next time you pick up your over-the -counter morning after pills, thank Hillary for stalling the FDA Director hearings until the pill was approved for the general public. I guess Obama was in church that day.

    June 2, 2008 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  8. The DNC has SPOKEN!!!

    "To Tell The Truth June 2nd, 2008 6:14 pm ET

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

    Don't you get it... people like you provide us with hours of entertainment. No one's laughing with you.

    June 2, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  9. s.boat


    June 2, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  10. John Everett

    I, too, change the channel when Dobbs in on. He complains all the time! He is not a problem sover-just a critic. A nasty, angry, egomaniac

    June 2, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  11. citizen

    John McCain is my candidate. DNC railroaded women and Hillary!

    June 2, 2008 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  12. PCS / North Carolina

    jofy wrote June 2nd, 2008 6:42 pm ET


    You are right. There is no place in this country of immigrants for hate mongers and race baiters like Rush, Sean Hannity, Ann coulter and O'Reily. They go on air every day propagating hatred.

    June 2, 2008 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  13. Cindy

    John Smith comment – "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?"

    Do you honestly think that Obama is smart enough to have pulled this off by himself? You need a reality check dude!

    Go Hillary!!!

    June 2, 2008 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  14. KE

    Finally a real human speaks, Harriet Christian. Real people don't have time for shenanigans. Hillary or McCain 2008

    June 2, 2008 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  15. Monica for Obama in Indiana

    To Helen,
    You are so right. Wonder why they didn't monitor PR, whose votes won't even count in the GE. I guess since Obama has resigned from his church, they have to do something.

    All you Billary and McCane Supporters, I think all of you should get together and pay all of Billaries remaining bills. And you all should have name tags, so you can pay the high cost at the pumps.

    June 2, 2008 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  16. Steve

    The great Oglala Lakota Warrior, Crazy Horse said you do not sell the land on which the people walk. Give back the Black Hills to the "People". Honor the Treaty of Laramie.

    June 2, 2008 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
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