Road Construction, Remote Location Cutting Early Vote Turnout in Oglala Lakota County

Traffic delayed on route to Oglala Lakota County early voting satellite station—photo posted by SD Democratic Party, 2016.10.21.
Traffic delayed on route to Oglala Lakota County early voting satellite station—photo posted by SD Democratic Party, 2016.10.21.

Alas, folks trying to get out the early vote in Red Dawn Foster’s turf are having some trouble. In 2014, the early voting station was in Pine Ridge Village. This year, the early satellite voting station is at the Suanne Big Crow Center, several miles northwest of Pine Ridge. Evidently, the road to the voting station is under construction, and there was a shooting there two weeks ago. According to the South Dakota Democratic Party, this remote location has cause early voting in Oglala Lakota County to drop two thirds over the first month of voting compared to 2014, from 159 early votes to 55.

The SDDP wants early voting moved someplace more accessible, but the Oglala Lakota County Commission has voted to keep the early voting satellite station where it is. The party has called on the Secretary of State to move the early satellite voting station, but the Secretary of State’s office contends that, per SDCL 12-14-1, location of voting stations is the county’s call.


5 Responses to Road Construction, Remote Location Cutting Early Vote Turnout in Oglala Lakota County

  1. My intuition tells me the hesitation to move the early voting station isn’t out of a desire to suppress votes, but by quite possibly concern that moving the station this late in the process, citizens wouldn’t have been properly informed. You’d then have voters bearing that road construction to get to the Suanne Big Crow Center just to find out the voting station has moved.

    Poor planning & coordination, but I don’t think there’s malfeasance.

  2. Roger Cornelius

    Obviously early voter turn out has been affected by the location of this voting center.
    Transportation is and always has been limited for many Pine Ridge Village residents and the commissioners have failed to recognize it.
    Clearly there is a simple solution to this problem, if the commissioners want to keep the Suanne Big Crow Center open, so be it.
    What would be the problem with opening an additional voting center in Pine Ridge Village where it should have been located to began with?

  3. is the state or BIA doing the road construction?

    a factoid in support of our Indian neighbors standing up for the environment that is on the rocks over the oil pipeline at Cannonball: 160 ships full of Chinese ect. products plying the seas with cheap Walmart junk burn just as much of the most dirty fossil fuel on the planet, as do all the cars in the world. and there are 6000 ships in this worldwide fleet. time, 10.26.16

  4. mike from iowa

    Sorta OT- looks like J-B Weld wasn’t as strong bonded as advertised. Bill Weld tells people to vote for HRC. He knows he and Johnson are sunk.

  5. Wayne—right on! According to SDPB, the county commission (which consists mostly if not entirely of tribal members) voted unanimously to keep the voting station where it is because they have already heavily advertised the site and don’t want to confuse voters. Lee Strubinger’s report mentions that usually, the parties (plural? on Pine Ridge? really?) fund buses to transport voters to the polls but that so far, no such early GOTV effort has materialized.