By Howard Fischer | Capitol Media Services via Arizona Daily Star
The fate of a voting rights lawsuit could depend on whether a federal judge believes current practices discriminate against Native Americans in particular or rural residents in general.
Bret Healy, an expert witness for members of the Navajo Nation, testified Tuesday about how much more time it takes for an early ballot to be received at reservation addresses than in urban centers.
On top of that, Healy said, it can take up to 10 days for something mailed from certain reservation locations to make it to the county seat to be tallied.
He told Judge Murray Snow that this gives reservation residents far less time to consider their options before they have to mail them off. And in some cases, Healy said, it is physically impossible for a reservation resident to get a ballot, mark it, mail it back and have it received by the current deadline of 7 p.m. Election Day.