Last month I reported that Jackson County was refusing to set up an early-voting satellite station in Wanblee to allow locals to enjoy the same access to early voting as all other South Dakotans without having to make the long drive to Kadoka and back. The voting station wouldn't cost Jackson County a cent, as federal Help America Vote Act money is available to cover the bill. But Jackson County finds that plan too confusing.
The folks who run Jackson County are white. Kadoka is a mostly white community. Wanblee is a mostly Indian community. Get the picture?
Jackson County asked for it; now they've got it. Four Oglala Sioux voters from the Pine Ridge reservation have filed suit in federal court against Jackson County for violating Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution.
Jackson County is probably toast. Other counties have established early-voting satellite stations to help South Dakota Indian communities overcome distance and poverty to access the same early-voting rights that the majority population freely exercises. Jackson County is standing in the way of free and equal exercise of basic voting rights. Perhaps they will have the good sense to avoid further trouble and surrender to equality and democracy before a federal judge orders them to.