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Alaska Native Group Suing Division of Elections

By | June 11, 2012 - 5:16 pm

A group of Alaska Natives is suing the state Division of Elections. The group includes Vicki Otte, CEO of MTNT, the McGrath area Alaska Native Corporation, and Bristol Bay Economic Development Corp.

The plaintiffs allege that the state division of elections is going ahead with election preparations before federal authorities have given the okay to the Alaska Redistricting plan. Native American Rights Fund attorney Natalie Landreth represents the plaintiffs.

In late May, the Alaska Redistricting Board submitted its Amended Proclamation Plan to the federal Justice Department for preclearance under the Voting Rights Act.  Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act requires preclearance by the Justice Department to ensure that the changes will not result in discrimination against racial minorities.

Landreth says as of Monday afternoon, the case has been handed over to a three judge panel.

Alaska Leiutanant Governor Mead Treadwell and division of elections director Gail Fenumai are named in the suit.

Fenumai says oral arguments are set regarding the temporary restraining order for Thursday morning.

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