No Translation Was Provided At The Polls

Vote flags

San Juan County switched to a vote-by-mail system to take away all language assistance. No translations were provided to LEP Navajos on ballot information, including candidates and initiatives. Only one polling place in Monticello was going to be kept, three or four hours each way. The impact was profound. Many voters who received an English language ballot they could not read simply did not vote. Others had their ballots invalidated when LEP Navajo voters were unable to read and understand the instructions on how to complete the ballot and envelope. In 2018, the County settled after being sued, agreeing to restore the three closed polling places and to provide the mandated language assistance.

Source: The Comprehensive Field Hearing Report On Historical and Contemporary Barriers to Political Participation by Native American Voters. Boulder, CO: Native American Rights Fund, February 2020

More Stories

North Dakota
North Dakota landscape

Terry Yellow Fat shares his home on the Standing Rock reservation in North Dakota with his wife, his son and his nephew. 

All four of them, he says, have different

Statue of Liberty

David Waller, who was formerly incarcerated, looked forward to July 2, 2007, when he and his 18-year-old son handed in their voter registration applications together. “I’d like to set a

Moutain and Road

In Navajo Mountain, Utah, there is a small post office in the chapter house that is located in Utah. However, it uses a Tonalea, Arizona zip code because it is