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South Dakota: federal judge rules for City of Martin in voting rights suit

The Native Times reports: A ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Karen Schreier denied claims by the American Civil Liberties Union that the City of Martin voting districts discriminate against Indian voters. The ruling said that the ACLU failed to present sufficient evidence to support the claims.

The ACLU is representing Oglala Sioux Tribal members Pearl Cottier and Rebecca Three Stars who live in Martin. The ACLU filed an appeal on the decision later in the week.

The ACLU contends that the 2002 redistricting plan approved by the city council for Martin fragments the Indian population in a way that reduces the chance the Indian voters electing their preferred candidate. ...

Schreier wrote in her decision that there was no evidence that the contracting organization that drafted the district plan had focused on the ethnic makeup of voters. Nor were there any statements, minutes or reports indicating that the Martin City Council acted with a “racially discriminatory intent” when it enacted an ordinance that included the new districts. -- Native American Times - America's Largest Independent, Native American News Source