FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE : Tuesday, August 06, 2013
CONTACT: Sara Rabern (605)773-3215
United States Federal District Court Dismisses Shannon County Voting Rights Lawsuit
PIERRE, S.D - Attorney General Marty Jackley announced today that the United States Federal District Court dismissed a voting rights lawsuit brought by individual residents of Shannon County alleging a denial of access to in-person absentee voting because Shannon County did not have its own courthouse. Pursuant to a contract with Fall River County, Shannon County residents were able to cast in-person absentee votes at the Fall River County Courthouse, submit absentee ballots to the Lakota language coordinator located in Shannon County or mail in their absentee ballots. The Court noted, however, that most voters in South Dakota may cast absentee votes for 46 days prior to the election “at their county courthouse.” Despite the voting opportunities provided by Fall River County, Plaintiffs brought suit against state and county officials alleging that an in-person absentee voting location should be held in Shannon County for the entire 46 days of absentee voting allowed by state statute. The lawsuit was dismissed when the Court found that the Defendants’ voluntarily provided provisions to ensure in-person absentee voting, through at least the 2018 election cycle, within Shannon County for 46 days before the primary and general elections.