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Indian Vote Suppressors Frankenstein and Gant Can’t Agree

Last updated on 2013.08.25

Rapid City lawyer Sara Frankenstein and the SDGOP are vindictive bullies for using the courts to shake down Oglala Sioux Tribe members who dare fight for their voting rights. Secretary of State Jason Gant uses specious obfuscation to further suppress the Indian vote.

But Frankenstein undermines Gant's contention that he can't use HAVA funds to help tribal members vote with satellite voting stations:

Frankenstein said that in negotiations on her side, she persuaded the secretary of state to change what she termed “internal policies” and release South Dakota’s HAVA money for the satellite office in Shannon County, which overlaps much of Pine Ridge. He could do this, she said, because in May 2008, South Dakota had completed HAVA’s initial requirement to modernize elections with up-to-date voting machines and the like.

From then on, Frankenstein said, the state was free to spend its federal HAVA appropriation on additional ways to improve elections, including satellite offices. Brooks v. Gant testimony and court documents confirm this. In Judge Schreier’s opinion, she noted that Shannon County residents had “minimal” early-voting access until Brooks v. Gant was filed [Stephanie Woodard, "'They Caved': Tribe Claims Win in SD Voting-Rights Suit," Indian Country Today, 2013.08.13].

Internal policies—that's code for "Jason didn't want to."

Republicans Frankenstein and Gant are both enemies of Indian voting rights. But even Frankenstein can't run with Gant's resistance to using federal money to carry out federal law to help Indians vote.