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Feds: Judge wrong to deny Indian satellite voting

By Associated Press
Published On: Mar 28 2013 11:12:28 AM MDT
BILLINGS, Mont. -

Civil rights attorneys from the U.S. Justice Department say a federal judge wrongly denied a request to establish satellite election offices for American Indians on three Montana reservations.
    
Plaintiffs from the Crow, Northern Cheyenne and Fort Belknap Reservations say in a lawsuit before the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals they must drive long distances to county courthouses for early voting and late registration.
    
They say that leaves them disadvantaged compared to white voters.
    
But in the run-up to last fall's election, U.S. District Judge Richard Cebull ruled there was no evidence Indians couldn't vote for the candidate of their choice.
    
Justice Department attorneys say in a friend-of-the-court brief filed this week that Cebull overlooked discrimination suffered by Indians who lack the resources to travel far.