RENO, Nev. (AP) — Tribal leaders in northern Nevada are asking a U.S. judge to order the state and two counties to establish satellite polling places on reservations where they say Native Americans are being denied a federally protected equal opportunity to vote in the November elections.
Two Paiute tribes filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Reno on Wednesday accusing the secretary of state, and Washoe and Mineral counties of illegally denying their members the same voting access afforded others in wealthier, mostly white neighborhoods.
Members of the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe living in the high desert northeast of Reno say they must travel 96 miles roundtrip to vote on Election Day. They say that’s a violation of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the Nevada and U.S. constitutions.
Similar legal battles have been waged in Utah, Montana and the Dakotas.