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Bordeaux, Tester Promote Indian Voting Equality; Thune, Rounds Do Not

Rep. Shawn Bordeaux (D-26A/Mission) thinks that if we get more Indians voting, more resources will get to Indians:

There is an undeniable connection between voter participation and access to resources. I believe that with greater participation we can reverse the condition on many of our reservations where socio-economic and health statistics resemble those for third world counties. Our Black Hills provided the gold that transformed the wealth of the United States. Our votes can be just as powerful [Shawn Bordeaux, “Push Harder for Native Voting Rights,” Indian County Today, 2015.12.16].

To put more ballots in Indian hands, Bordeaux supports the Native American Voting Rights Act currently before Congress:

In 2015, in an effort to limit hurdles between Native Americans and the ballot box, Senators Tester, Franken, Heitkamp, and Udall cosponsored the Native American Voting Rights Act which would increase voter protections and access to the polls for Native Americans. The Native American Voting Rights Act would require each state to establish polling locations on reservations upon request from the tribe, including early voting locations in states that allow votes to be cast prior to Election Day. Additionally, the bill directs state election administrators to mail absentee ballots to the homes of all registered voters if requested by the tribe and establishes tribal IDs as a valid form of identification [Bordeaux, 2015.12.16].

Add Senator Hirono from Hawaii, and we have five Senators from five states—Montana, Minnesota, North Dakota, New Mexico, and Utah with big Indian populations backing the NAVRA. Yet neither Senator from South Dakota, where voting equality for the third-largest American Indian population by percentage is a big issue, has signed on to this important legislation. Why are Senators Thune and Rounds silent on this important issue while Senator Tester and State Rep. Bordeaux lead the charge?

Gee, you’d think John Thune and Mike Rounds didn’t want more Indians to vote.



  1. Paul Seamans 2015-12-17 09:51

    Around 10% of South Dakota’s population is Indian. Mike Rounds and John Thune evidently do not want the Indian people to vote out of fear for how they will vote. I am hopeful that the recent victory in stopping the Keystone XL, in which Indian activism played a major part, will show that their participation does matter.

  2. WayneF 2015-12-17 11:05

    Thune and Rounds do NOT represent most South Dakotans. Their seats were bought and paid for by Political Action Committees.

    Most Native Americans whom I know want a democratic process … not a straight white male oligarchy.

  3. Eve Fisher 2015-12-17 11:27

    Time to fire up the phones and demand that Thune and Rounds support this. Not that I expect anything but the usual BS, but if enough people call, they might shake a bit.

  4. leslie 2015-12-17 13:14

    are those 5 or 6 states influenced by the democratic party while SD is obviously not? and people here like barry or daniel or les, i forget, whine that all republicans are lumped together in the dust bin of anachronism while the rest of the country, neh, the world, is progressing into the future of sustainable living?

  5. leslie 2015-12-17 13:18

    wayne-isn’t noem a straight white male too, bought and paid for, really? [CAH: rest of comment descended into unsubstantiated rumor, which has no place in this discussion.]

  6. Loren 2015-12-17 13:40

    Evidently, there was no photo op to be had!

  7. leslie 2015-12-17 16:36

    [A] key federal circuit has resurrected Bush v. Gore as precedent: the Sixth Circuit.

    In a number of cases out of Ohio, the perennial battleground state in presidential elections, the Sixth Circuit has found lack of uniform rules in the state to raise Bush v. Gore problems. It has held that the disparate treatment of provisional ballots in a recount violate Bush v. Gore equal protection principles, that the disproportionate distribution of voting machinery leading to long lines in more populated areas can violate the principle, and that giving only certain military and overseas voters but no other voters the chance to cast a ballot in early voting the weekend before an election violates Bush v. Gore.

    Most recently, in 2014, a federal district court held that Ohio’s cutback in the number of days of early voting violated Bush v. Gore. The Sixth Circuit rejected a request to stay that order but […]

    […]the Supreme Court, without opinion reversed, allowing Ohio’s early voting cutback to go through. The vote was 5-4 at the Supreme Court, suggesting deep division on the Court (although the ruling might have been more about the timing of the relief than about the merits).

    Those deep divisions shown by the Court and the question of the meaning of Bush v. Gore itself could make its way back to the Court in time for the 2016 election. There is a new challenge to Ohio voting cutbacks currently pending….

  8. jake 2015-12-17 16:52

    In short the answer to your questin “Don’t they want more Native Americans to vote” is a definite NO!!! Native votes defeated Thune vs. Johnson. Tall boy’s brains might be in his buttocks but he has them. He knows what beat him then and his recent ‘concerns’ along with Noem’s on reservation suicides are suspect and reek of opportunism.

  9. leslie 2015-12-17 17:12

    i hate to say i suspect that too. are u jc? if so i wanted to repond somehow on an old trace research. thx

  10. Jake Cummings 2015-12-17 18:43

    Leslie, if you are asking if I’m the commenter posting as “jake,” the answer is no. If that’s not what you meant, please forgive me for thinking you meant “Jake Cummings” when you posted “jc”.

  11. mike from iowa 2015-12-17 18:48

    There certainly had to be a basketball game/tournament going on somewhere where Marlboro Barbie could get his photo op.

  12. moses 2015-12-17 21:23

    Like Thune and Rounds, represent us .Only the well healed,

  13. moses 2015-12-17 21:24

    Like Thune and Rounds, represent us .Only the well healed, Is thune going to any basketball games.

  14. leslie 2015-12-17 21:42

    hi Jake C-happened to notice your last post on the oregon item we discussed and appreciated your diligence and insight:) thx

  15. barry freed 2015-12-18 09:23

    If you have a direct response to something I wrote, then respond. Don’t put words in my mouth, you don’t have the resources to begin to comprehend my thoughts or knowledge.
    “oh, Barry would say this, Barry would say that”

    Barry would say… well, you are so good at guessing what I would say, you fill in the blank, and don’t be afraid to be your self.

    Cory, you need to better rein in the personal attacks and defaming.

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