Protecting Voting Rights of American Indians and Alaska Natives

June 9, 2014

Attorney General Holder Suggests New Proposal to Guarantee Voting Access for American Indians and Alaska Natives

In this week's message, Attorney General Eric Holder criticized election practices that adversely affect the ability of American Indian and Alaska Native populations to exercise their right to vote. These obstacles include inaccessible polling places in tribal areas, English-only ballots for areas with limited English proficiency, and "precinct realignment" practices that attempt to combine geographically isolated Native communities. In order to combat this problem, Attorney General Holder announced that the Justice Department would officially enter formal consultations with sovereign tribes to consider a legislative proposal that would require any state or local election administrator whose territory includes part or all of an Indian reservation, an Alaskan native village, or other tribal lands to locate at least one polling place in a venue selected by the tribal government.

Updated December 18, 2015