SD Settles Voting Rights Lawsuit With Oglala Sioux And Rosebud Sioux Tribes


     The South Dakota Secretary of State’ Office will create a voting rights coordinator position and train state agencies on how to comply with federal voting rights laws as part of a settlement with the Oglala and Rosebud Sioux Tribes.

     The settlement also includes the secretary of state’s office agreed to pay $625,000 in attorney’s fees to the Rosebud Tribe

     The tribes and the Lakota People’s Law Project had sued South Dakota for not adhering to the National Voter Registration Act, also known as the Motor-Voter Law.

     The lawsuit argued that numerous violations “deprived thousands of tribal members and other citizens of their federally guaranteed opportunities to register to vote and to change their voter registration addresses.”

     Federal District Judge Lawrence Piersol in May agreed with the lawsuit and has now approved the settlement.

      The Motor-Voter Law allows prospective voters to register while applying for driver’s licenses, public assistance, or disability assistance.

    Oglala Sioux Tribe President Kevin Killer says the settlement requires South Dakota to establish training and accountability mechanisms so all voters, including Native voters, actually receive the legally required opportunities to register to vote/