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Navajo Nation and San Juan County, UT Reach Settlement in Voting Rights Case

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The Navajo Nation and San Juan County, Utah, have reached a settlement to end a lawsuit over voting procedures. The suit was filed in February 2016 by the Navajo Human Rights Commission and several individual plaintiffs against the San Juan County clerk and commissioners. It charged that by moving to an all-mail-ballot system, the county made it harder for some Navajos to vote because the ballots were in English and postal service was unreliable on the reservation. Under the agreement, filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court, the county will open three polling places on the Navajo Nation for primary and general elections. It will also open three satellite offices on the reservation at least 28 days before each election and will provide in-person voting assistance, including a Navajo interpreter.

Gail Binkly is a career journalist who has worked for the Colorado Springs Gazette and Cortez Journal. She is currently a freelance writer as well as the editor of the Four Corners Free Press, based in Cortez.
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