Indian voting rights advocates have been fighting for years to get early-voting satellite stations to give our Lakota neighbors equal ballot access. Representative Shawn Bordeaux (D-26A/Mission) says South Dakota still isn’t giving Indian voters the same access to early voting that white folks get:
Representative Shawn Bordeaux discovered firsthand that there were still problems in Mission.
“And I asked him why it is that we’re only open for six hours on Tuesday and Thursday to vote, whereas everybody else is Monday through Friday from nine to five?” said Bordeaux.
And when he arrived to vote, he said the office had closed early.
“And she cut out at 2:30 pm, and that was disappointing to me,” said Bordeaux.
Reports of a closed gate in front of the early voting building come from the Pine Ridge Reservation, where the word is spreading to request for the gate to be opened, and they’ll let you in [Beth Warden, “Voters on South Dakota Reservations Report Problems, Despite Recent Lawsuit,” KSFY, 2022.10.23].
According to Warden, Rep. Bordeaux says the Mission satellite voting station has now expanded operations to five days a week. But Indians in South Dakota still have to make noise to get the same opportunity to vote that most South Dakotans take for granted.