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Nevada Tribes Could Boost Dem Chances Following Court Ruling

Image: Nevada Tribes Could Boost Dem Chances Following Court Ruling

(AP)

By    |   Wednesday, 12 Oct 2016 10:05 AM

Hoping to score big in Nevada after gaining greater voting access, Democrats are looking to retain a key Senate seat and hijack the state's six electoral votes in the November election, according to The Hill.

Last week, two Native American tribes — Pyramid Lake and Walker River Paiute — in Nevada won an emergency court order in a federal lawsuit accusing the Republican secretary of state and two counties of discriminating against them under the Voting Rights Act.

Chairman Vinton Hawley of the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe and Chairman Bobby D. Sanchez of the Walker River Paiute Tribe took charge to gets the people their rights.

The tribes claimed that their members were being denied equal access at the polls as some had to travel long distances to cast their votes and requests for additional polling stations had been denied.

Explaining the indiscrimination, the groups pointed out that their people would have to travel anywhere from 32 miles to 70 miles, to caste their vote — a trip not required by non-Native neighbors.

Lobbyist Tom Rodgers, who is the founder and president of Carlyle Consulting, said, "We chose Nevada about a year ago."

"We chose it because of the presidential race implications, control of the Senate implications," he explained.

Native Americans generally vote for the Democratic Party and the turnout in Nevada is an important factor this election, especially after the federal court ruling.

On Friday, Judge Miranda Du of the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada said the tribes have proven they'll suffer irreparable harm if she doesn't intervene with the election less than five weeks away.

"The court finds that the public interest is served by a preliminary injunction," she stated in her 20-page ruling.

"The secretary of state implies that disparities in welfare between Native Americans and other Nevadans are particularly a result of the choice to live on remote tribal reservations," wrote Du. "This argument, which assumes that the geography of the tribal reservations is a historical and apolitical, ignores a long and well documented history.

"The geographic isolation of tribal members is not an accident or a choice, it is the clear product of 'social and historical conditions,' " she stated. "In this instance, it is clear that geographic isolation works in tandem with the placement of early voting polling locations to further isolate the [tribes] from the political process."

In her ruling, Du also referred to Professor Daniel Craig McCool's research where he found that the more a person has to travel to vote, the less likely he or she is to do so.

Rodgers, meanwhile, pointed out that many of the tribes' members did not have reliable transportation.

A tight contest awaits Nevada for the seat of retiring Democratic Sen. Harry Reid as the race for his seat could decide control of the Senate.

According to polls,  Republican Rep. Joe Heck appears to have an edge over Democratic opponent Catherine Cortez Masto, the state's attorney general.

Meanwhile, the presidential race too is very tight in Nevada, with polls suggesting Hillary Clinton having a narrow lead over her rival, Donald Trump.

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Politics
Hoping to score big in Nevada after gaining greater voting access, Democrats are looking to retain a key Senate seat and hijack the state's six electoral votes in the November election, according to The Hill.
Nevada, Democrats, Indian, Tribes, Court, Ruling
517
2016-05-12
Wednesday, 12 Oct 2016 10:05 AM
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