Under the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA), state public assistance agencies and motor vehicle offices are required to provide voter registration services when people are applying for services, renewing their eligibility, and providing change-of-address information. September 16, 2020, the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, the Oglala Sioux Tribe, and voting rights group Four Directions filed a federal court complaint against South Dakota officials for failing to offer voter registration services through state agencies serving the public, as mandated by the NVRA. On July 8, 2021, additional plaintiffs joined the lawsuit.
NARF Staff Attorney Jacqueline De León commented, “We documented Native American residents routinely being underserved by the state of South Dakota when it came to voter registration. Native Americans are not being offered the voter registration opportunities they are entitled to under law. We told the state that there was a problem, but they did not fix it. Apparently they did not see the disenfranchisement of Native voters and the silencing of Native voices as an important issue. We do.”