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State bars second absentee vote on reservation

The state of South Dakota won't allow a second day of absentee voting on the Lower Brule Sioux Reservation because it would occur on the same day as an event with free food.

Secretary of State Chris Nelson says election bribery laws bar the offering of free food connected to voting. Even serving coffee at the polling place is outlawed, he says.

The Four Directions Committee, a group aimed at increasing Native voters, says that's ridiculous. The committee says the homecoming is a perfect time to get absentee voters to the polls.

The state is already planning to hold absentee voting on the reservation next Tuesday. Otherwise, reservation residents have to travel 30 miles to cast early ballots.

Get the Story:
Lower Brule, state at odds over interpretation of voting law (The Sioux Falls Argus Leader 10/21)
One early voting plan ruled illegal (AP 10/21)

Related Stories:
Early voting starts on Pine Ridge Reservation (10/12)
Editorial: Reservation voting offices a good idea (10/01)
Pine Ridge absentee voter plan approved by county (9/30)
Pine Ridge absentee voter plan up for consideration (9/29)