US District Judge Lawrence Piersol ruled Tuesday that two South Dakota Sioux tribes have standing in a lawsuit against South Dakota over alleged National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (NVRA) violations. The case is in the US District Court for the District of South Dakota Western Division.
The complaint alleges that several state agencies did not offer voter registration services and violated the NVRA. The claim alleges the agencies violated the NVRA when they failed to update voters’ registration information at the Department of Motor Vehicles and public assistance officers. This allegedly deprived thousands of tribal members of federally guaranteed opportunities to register to vote by failing to meet NVRA obligations. The complaint also reports a decrease in voter registration applications originating in public assistance agencies in South Dakota.
The goal of the NVRA is to increase the number of eligible citizens who can register to vote in federal elections. It also seeks to protect the integrity of the electoral process and ensure accurate and current voter registration rolls are maintained.
Judge Piersol ruled that the plaintiffs had standing under Article III of the Constitution and the NVRA.
The two Sioux tribes are joined by Four Directions Inc, a voting rights group for native communities.