Judge denies satellite voting for Montana Indians

AP News
Posted: Oct 30, 2012 8:14 PM

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A federal judge has denied an emergency order sought by American Indians who wanted election officials to provide satellite voting stations on remote Montana reservations.

Tuesday's ruling from U.S. District Judge Richard Cebull puts off a final decision on satellite voting until after Election Day.

Cebull says regardless of whether voting discrimination exists, he is not convinced the plaintiffs are suffering immediate harm.

Yet his denial of a preliminary injunction in the case does not end a lawsuit brought by 15 Indians alleging discrimination by county and state officials.

American Indians from the Crow, Northern Cheyenne and Fort Belknap reservations argue the long distances they must drive for early voting and late registration leaves them disadvantaged.

Attorney Steven Sandven says there is too little time before the election to appeal.